“Man, I never thought this would happen,” Johann remarked. “Looks like our pipe-dream actually panned out, huh?”
Jove nodded. “Yeah, who woulda thunk it?”
“You don’t sound the least bit excited.”
“I’m just tired; I stayed up all last night budgeting. Hopefully money won’t be so tight once this album sells.”
Johann let out a sigh. “No one ever said the path of an artist was easy, huh?”
Apollo had disappeared into a separate room while Jove and his band-mates continued talking. “Do you think we should start working on another album?” Anna asked.
“I dunno, maybe?” Jove said. “Not tonight, though.”
“Well duh.” Anna took a sip of her drink.
In the other room, there was the sound of air being blown through some kind of pipe. “Hey, Polly wog?” Jove called out
Someone, most likely Apollo, scrambled around. “Yeah?”
Jove stood up. “I’m gonna go check on him…”
Apollo was struggling to put away Anna’s trumpet. He looked up and froze. “Hey.” Jove said.
Apollo stared with wide eyes at his father. “Hi.”
“Ya need some help?”
The little boy stared down at the trumpet. “Yeah…”
Anna walked into the room. “So I take it you were trying to play my trumpet?”
She crouched down and picked up her instrument. “Next time ask so I can wipe off the mouthpiece. It’s got my lipstick and germs on it. You don’t want either of those.” She took a wet rag and wiped the mouthpiece down thoroughly. “Now try.”
Apollo took the trumpet and blew into the mouthpiece, but didn’t make much sound. “Did I break it?”
“Nah. You just gotta know how to blow into it. Try pressing your lips together and buzzing your lips like this,” Anna demonstrated.
Apollo pressed his lips together, and tried to buzz while blowing into the trumpet, but to no avail. “I can’t do it.”
“Don’t say that…” Anna said. “Try again.”
Apollo still couldn’t do it.
“Try spitting into it.” Jove suggested.
“Jove that’s not gonna-”
Apollo looked down at the trumpet, astonished. “Wow…”
Jove raised a knowing eyebrow at Anna.
“Okay so spitting works. Try to play a little higher.”
Apollo furrowed his brow, and pushed out a note that was louder rather than higher.
“Okay… try to blow air a little faster.”
He forced out a sloppy, yet higher pitched note.
“Good job!” Anna pulled out a blank music sheet, and started scribbling down some notes. “Can you read sheet music?” She asked.
“Yeah, Mommy teaches me piano.”
“Really?” Jove asked.
“Mm hm. I can play Chopsticks! I’m not very good though…”
“Great! Let’s try to play some whole notes then. This is a G. You don’t have to hold down any fingers, but try to match this pitch…” Anna turned to Nate. “Hey, babe, can you play a G, please?”
Nate pushed a key on the piano.
“There, try to match that pitch.”
Apollo spat out another note that sounded vaguely close to the G Nate had played.
And with that, the party had morphed into an impromptu trumpet lesson. Anna spent a few hours teaching Apollo how to play the trumpet. The other band mates watched as Anna attempted to teach trumpet Apollo. It was long past dark once Apollo and Jove got home.
“I like the trumpet.” Apollo said as Jove carried his son to bed.
“Mm hm. I wanna learn how to play.”
“Well Anna’s gonna do a good job teaching you, I can assure you.”
“Yay…” Apollo yawned.
Jove kissed Apollo’s head and closed the door.
Looks like I know what to get Apollo for his birthday. I’ll have to check the music stores to see if they have anything at a decent price.
Jove smiled. Apollo was almost eight years old. How could time have gone by so fast? One day, Jove was changing diapers, and the next he was buying trumpets. Pretty soon Apollo would be going to college.
Okay, I don’t think I’m ready to start coming to terms with that fact.
Jove still had ten years to brace himself for an empty nest. It was pretty clear that he wasn’t going to have anymore children, so he was going to have less time than Thalassa to emotionally prepare himself for the inevitable.
Jove’s mind wandered to Trucy. She was only a few months old and already she was proving to be a slight annoyance to Apollo.
“She cries too much! I have to be quiet when she’s taking a nap!”
It was almost adorable how exasperated Apollo got because his sister cried. The corners of his mouth turned down as his nose scrunched up, and his hair would begin to droop. Jove would attempt to tell Apollo that he should be worried if Trucy stopped crying, but the little boy would not be deterred.
“Nuh uh! I’d be happy. I bet Mommy would too.”
Realizing that the argument was just going around in circles, Jove ended it by ruffling his son’s hair, an action that immediately derailed Apollo’s concentration.
“Daddy! You know I don’t like it when you mess with my hair!”
He attempted to return his hair to its original position with a huff.
Jove smiled. Apollo could be so silly sometimes. Maybe that was just a little kid thing, and not an Apollo thing, but regardless, it was entertaining.
Before he went to bed, Jove checked on his son who was sleeping soundly in his bed. Apollo’s fingers were bent in the position Anna had taught him, and he pressed his lips together. Jove would have to tell Anna that Apollo could play the trumpet in his sleep. That would get a laugh, he thought.
Jove closed the door, and went to bed in his own room, and fell into a dreamless sleep.
. . .
We were decorating Apollo’s room when Thalassa froze. “What’s wrong?” I asked.
“What? But he’s not due for another six weeks!”