The Gradual Week 10
- After Lunch, Kan and Renettia lead Sandro down to the harbour by foot, where they board a small sailboat. The two women sail it awkwardly toward Temmil, but when they reach the half-way point - the point of gradual neutrality - they tell him he must continue alone. Despite his protests, they jump into a dinghy and leave him. He sails the rest of the way alone.
- He docks awkwardly on Temmil and goes through shelterate procedures. After a bit of a hunt he finds a seaside pension in which to stay.
- After a few days in town, he comes upon a villa with a piano and decides to rent it. He returns to composing and spends most of the next while (days? weeks?) working on several compositions. At first he's inspired by the islands, then later by the concept of time slippage and The Gradual.
- One night, while walking in town, he hears music coming from inside a bar. He goes in and finds Cea Weller playing jazz piano with a bassist. She seems happy to see him and tells him that her father mentioned he was coming. Sandro had apparently met him on his previous trip, but had never shared his travel plans.
- After Cea's set finishes, she joins him at a table for drinks. Sandro tells her all about his travels, including the adepts. She tells him the adepts are a scam for tourists, and that islanders never use their services. They find other ways of dealing with time deficits (something about insurance & exemptions from the shelterate office - very vague). Cea tells Sandro about her life. Later they dance and, after the bar closes, return to his place to spend the night.
- Sandro wakes in the middle of the night and, as he contemplates Cea's sleeping form beside him, he examines his life. In the morning, she leaves to take care of her mother, but says she'll return that evening. This saddens him. He takes a shower, then is hit by musical inspiration - an entire piece pops into his head at once. He plays it on the piano and records it to transcribe later. Afterward, he's drained and slumps over the piano. He returns to alert when an earthquake shakes the house.
- Soon after the earthquake, the volcano erupts. Sandro turns on the news and watches for a time - the authorities assure there's no emergency. His thoughts turn again to his new music piece. Then he tries to call Cea, but cannot get through. He decides to walk into town and wanders there for a while before returning home.
- An affirmation of @NeilNjae 's scam theory emerges.
- Is there a symbolic reason the adepts leave Sandro halfway to Temmil so he can finish the trip on his own?
- Once Sandro reaches Temmil, he's basically revisiting an old experience, only this time he's older. If the experience of life is a constant progression of time and place, then the revisiting of a previously visited location can take space out of the equation and throw time into stark contrast. It's in these moments we find it easiest to reflect on our past, because we can see the passage of time. In our daily lives at home, the increments of time are gradual. In that sense, the return to Temmil is anti-gradual. Thoughts?
- I guess with the volcano, the story is literally climaxing?