Gentlemen, I bid you farewell | Teen Ink

Gentlemen, I bid you farewell

January 10, 2013
By iluvrockandroll2 PLATINUM, Tinton Falls, New Jersey
iluvrockandroll2 PLATINUM, Tinton Falls, New Jersey
22 articles 0 photos 21 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Some women choose to follow men, and some women choose to follow their dreams. If you're wondering which way to go, remember that your career will never wake up and tell you that it doesn't love you anymore."
— Lady Gaga

Perhaps the fact alone that I knew the majority of the people I saw at the dinner parties would never see the light of day again. Or where I precisely stood would soon be floundering at the bottom of the Atlantic, but all I saw in front of me, was his dark Victorian complexion, his violin resting comfortably under his chin as the ballad, Nearer My God To Thee." wailed in its breathy modulation as hordes of people wandering lost in some alien terror. There, midst the chaos stood Wallace ever the saint even in our final hours, still entertaining, whether the passerby's bothered to listen or not. He never seemed to be humiliated by this plain reality, and only played with a passion that the Great Beethoven himself would envy. An utter madman on a violin to all the mundane people who couldn't apprehend his musical genius. My beautiful saint; I had begun to realize as the Titanic’s voyage continued. Nevertheless, this night, it became relevant, there wouldn't be a next time; I wouldn't ever see him again. He'd never see his damnefianceee again, never be able to play Orpheus, or another concerto that made tears come to my eyes, my throat clot up, and my heart...
There were always these illogical rumors whispered in fear of the deepest hours in the night of men being attracted to men. However, I never thought it would be considered relevant to me, that is until these past four days, all leading up to this top moment.
The sudden realization of this fact dawned on me, making sense at last. Like a puzzle had come to together at last, or a magnificent story coming to and end. No matter how many times I've been introduced to affluent, and blushing women, and have never been quite attracted to them, It was always this man who looked me dead in the eye during concerts while performing and in and out of tempo changes in our songs. Always contemptuous to take on bigger challenges ahead, was why he was brought to the RMS Titanic. The goddamnned Wallace Hartley, is the one I love, was perfectly sure of it, even as the reality of the sinking ship pulsed around my cello and me. I didn't love him with a pure brotherly love; I love him the way I should've loved women,
That I was positive I didn't and wouldn't possess. As we neared the last verse of Nearer My God To Thee, he stopped shortly on the last note, as the ship groaned beneath us, a stricken calm look on his face.
"Gentlemen, I bid you farewell."
As the other men picked their instruments up and began to walk away I went to Wallace, before I could lose the nerve. "John? What are you doing? You must leave and seek--"
"By God, man!" I declared my sole monocle in place, "You are magnificent!" Before he could react, I took his face in my hands, and kissed him full on the mouth, my lips locked firmly on his. Slowly he began to kiss me back, as a mob of people rushed past, several open mouthed in awe, other figuring they didn't see such a thing, but I, for one was tired of pretending. Kissing Wallace in those final moments seemed to set me right. As we gently came apart, he observed me with a scrupulous intensity.
His dark eyes incalculable. "John," his voice gone soft. "Be careful, my good man. I would certainly hate for you to lose your life on this dreadful incident." "And I to you, dear Wallace." I reply, my voice hoarse, as I give him a small salute and disregarded the aghast expressions from all around us.
Wallace gave a self-righteous smile. “ We shall bide through this, just you see! Take care, good Woodward, be careful." I nod my head, slightly and kissed him cautiously on the cheek as I bid him my farewell. There was no time for my precious cello, as the lifeboats were filling quickly. Mobs of women and children awaited all sides, as shots from the crew filled the air
With the all-familiar stench of fear overwhelming us.
Feeling withdrawn from the hordes of people and paused yet again at the distinct sound of the boat creaking along the middle of the ship. "Everyone get back! Women and children on the boats now! Get Back!” We clamored further up the ship; afraid of certain death, terrified of the tragically romantic fate that lay before us. Wallace. My mind clammy with the sudden thought of the indubitable circumstance of this inevitable “unsinkable” iron ship,
Slowly groaned into the Atlantic, ensued the echoes of the ships' victims. I could barely see the ship as it was claimed by the Atlantic's icy grip. But, all I could think of when I closed my eyes was the ballad Wallace had imprinted into my memory that had now become my personal metaphor.
Nearer My God To Thee.

The author's comments:
Author's Note
John Wesley Woodward and Mr. Wallace Hartley were legitimate people who did perform in dinner parties and such aboard the RMS Titanic. They were employed by C.W. and F.N Black, to entertain the Titanic's passengers, and were second-class passengers. Although neither man was found or to be reported attracted to men, they did, however, keep playing while the mighty unsinkable ship, began to sink; and were remembered by the survivors (700 out of the original 2200) their act of bravery to keep the passengers calm, and under order. Unfortunately, none of the quintet members survived the Titanic’s sinking.
Nearer my god to thee was one of Hartley's favorite ballads.

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