The Blue Guitar
Orrin is powerfully drawn to a blue guitar he sees in a music store when he is twelve and is taught to play and compose haunting music by a master teacher. While working as a janitor, he is attracted to Emily, a para-legal secretary. He knows if she could only hear his music she'd know he is more than a janitor.
When he plays Rhapsody, the song he composed for Emily, she is overwhelmed and falls in love with him. Orrin now has the love of his life until she is hit by a drunk driver. While in a coma, Orrin knows his music will bring her back but is forced to stop playing by the hospital and he loses her. His music grows sad until he realizes he must play beautiful music to have a love like Emily come to his life.
While sweeping the hallway, or emptying the trashcans, or making sure the bathrooms had paper towels and toilet paper, Orrin thought about Emily. So what if I’m the janitor and she’s a lawyer’s personal assistant, I’m just as good as anyone who works at Ainsworth & Thelin. She’ll see I’m a lot more than a janitor.
Orin was determined to get up the nerve to ask her out. He knew that if she heard his music she would see the depth of his spirit. If only she could hear me play, she would know who I am. But he had no way to make that happen.
He always took his time and did an especially good job around her desk. When he dusted the filing cabinets and shelves, he carefully removed everything before spraying the cleaning solution. He found things to do in order to have more time around her. He watered the plants and wiped the glass and dusted the frames of the paintings. He’d take her coffee mug and rinse it out, then ask if she wanted more coffee. He liked it when she’d smile and look up from her computer, and say, “Thanks, Orrin, I’m fine,” then get back to work.
He hated how shy and nervous he was around her, but one day, before she came to work, Orrin prepared to surprise her with flowers he’d bought from the Save-way Supermarket. He had a vase in the storage closet, so he filled it with water and put the small bouquet of daisies and zinnias in the middle of her desk and, wanting to be mysterious, did not leave a note.
From the hall, he saw her surprise when she walked in and asked her assistant if she knew where the flowers came from. Gloria said, “I have no idea. They were here when I came in.”
Later, when Orrin came back to the office, he put down his mop and bucket and asked, “How’d you like the flowers, Emily?”
She had moved the vase to the side so she could work but looked at them, then up at Orrin. “I love them. What a nice surprise, but I have no idea who gave them to me.” She looked at Orrin, tilted her head, and smiled. “Did you give them to me?”
“What do you mean sort of, Orrin? Either you gave them to me or you didn’t.”
“Yes, I gave them to you. I thought they would make your desk pretty.”
He wanted to ask her to go to the movies, or at least have a cup of coffee at the café down the street, but stood there like an idiot, afraid she’d say no, so instead he asked if she wanted a piece of gum.