A final click.
A lasting hiss.
After three hundred samples and thirteen hours of editing and re-editing...
I am finally done with this track.
I slap a red button on the console, and what was once the working draft now records itself onto mana-crystals for digital distribution. It is a slow process, and it will probably take all night.
Which would have once meant something... considering that night started about four hours ago.
I sigh. Trotting aside, I become aware of how long I have been standing in one place—one position—one super studious stance. It re-agitates the pain in my right leg from the recent injury, and I wince, limping away from the turntable while the eleven minute music track for Rainbow Dash solidifies itself into audio permanence.
The foyer is a dark thing now, a cave where nothing lives, not even me. All colors are hidden in Octavia's side of the apartment—deep orange and violet. I guess Octavia forgot to close her bedroom door before Scribbler snuck in. I guess that goes to show how preoccupied her pretty head has been with the upcoming delegates dinner party at the Castle. I should have been more receptive to her, I suppose. But I recall hearing the shower running twice since she last performed the bass fiddle in my presence. That many showers in a small span of time usually means she's in a good mood. At least... I can assume so.
I drift past a window... and I linger.
The world outside is a turquoise sheen. I stare beyond the pane, squinting past the amber flicker of a street lamp as it strives to push the colors of death away. Night is the galloping pasture for artists, precisely because it is a graveyard for everypony else. Against that blackness, we throw our colors and notes, seeking to form a masterpiece, knowing how futile it is in the long run... but pursuing it with no less zeal.
It's times like these—when I've just finished my latest work, or any work for that matter—that I feel most ecstatic. A mania takes over me, and my ego grows tenfold. I am a veritable goddess, on top of the world, sprouting wings with no need for a tiara.
But right now...
With the dark world entombing me...
And everything else in my life shuffling into place so righteously...
I... can't seem to summon the revel in that very same accomplishment.
And it's not that I don't believe in the awesomeness of the track that I just made for Rainbow Dash.
Sure, it's not perfect, but I'm more than confident that it will suffice... that it will be digestible... that it will make her happy.
It's just that it's like every other track that I've made before. I make a living off of this... off of being DJ-P0N3. She's a very special part of me... but only a part.
And you can carry that part of yourself so high on your shoulders and for so long, but it can still leave the rest feeling... eerily vacant.
This didn't used to bother me. Then again, I used to be a lot younger. And now—more than ever—the turquoise looms like a shroud, and I feel less room to breathe.
And everything as of late has been shallow breaths. Even when I leapt out to grab Sweetie Belle's falling body, I was numb. Like my body had been suspended underwater.
And it's the rare and awkward accidents when I surface that I feel all of reality rushing in on me. The incurable nature of my condition. The strict regiment I've now hammered my life to as a royal minstrel. The fact that I haven't seen Roadie Beau in over a week, and I left him in Sacramentoats like a fool... like a jerk... like somepony who is the exact opposite of a good friend.
I remove my shades and rub my eyes with a sigh. I suffer the gamut of colors, and all of them jaded.
I really don't know how DJ-P0N3 makes music every night. Sometimes, I feel like I'm just as much an audience to her as everypony else. Only—now more than ever—every tune is starting to sound the same.
I barely scratch the surface of that thought before it sends me—lurching—back to my bedroom. I stand before my mattress, not moving, not living. I could fall asleep... but what's number than numb? How much does it take until another seven years has vanished and I find myself the same old fossil in want of the same old voice?
My ears twitch. Orange and violet streams ripple my way. I trot backwards until my flank strikes the bedroom wall. Octavia sleeps in the room on the other side, and her and Scribbler's breath are a cornucopia of colors, lulling me to someplace that feels faintly like home. I slump down and hug myself, allowing the vibrations to surround me, warm me like a womb.
This delicate... holy creature...
She saved my life...
She saved all the parts of me... DJ-P0N3... Vinyl... "love"... the parts that have been and the parts that will ever be...
And if I don't owe it to myself to keep striving against that turquoise shroud...
...then at least I owe it to her.
It's the first time I've smiled all day... and it's already night.
That in and of itself is almost worth a laugh, but I'd rather not collapse that way.
Instead, I carry the headrush with me to a shower... for I surely need one. And... who knows... maybe somewhere between the suds and streams, I'll learn Octavia's secret.
I know I won't, but I douse myself anyways...