Me and Anton decided to have a little picnic as the sun came over the Dachstein, a craggy wall of sand colored rock guarding loping hills of velvet green grass. Anton was quiet and seemed a little disturbed. He constantly gazed at the mountain and closed his eyes as if in prayer.
I tried to open the basket he had laid out on the grass. I wanted the food and was hungry from the climbing. Anton was in much better shape than I and looked like he could have backflipped over the mountain had I not stopped him to take a breather.
I caught a fly that buzzed on my chin and killed it. Anton looked at me very annoyed as if I had offended him or disgusted him.
The basket would not budge and he saw my trouble and took it to his side of the cloth. He opened it quickly and took out some little sandwiches with jam and bread rolls. He laid them on the cloth between us, taking utmost care to arrange them in a seemingly predetermined pattern. There were 9 sandwiches in all, forming a sort of altered circle, with the rolls being inside the circle at exact points. The jam was in the middle.
"It reminds me of your music" I offered, to break the tension.
He smiled and shook his head.
I ate and he stared at the mountain. After I finished I rested a bit with a book I had brought with. He laid down on the ground.
"Did you like the sandwiches Patrick?"
"I did, Anton. Thanks a bunch. Your wife make them?"
"No. I did. Look at that!
" he pointed to something in the sky.
"You missed it."
A bird maybe I guessed. Silence.
When all was said and done, the hike with Webern went pretty well. I didn't learn a lot from him but it was good to a get a little excercise. He was a nice fellow but quiet and serious.
I took the little road back to town. He took another way back to his lodgings. Right when I walked by the little white church I realized I had left my Gatorade in the woods on a log we both sat on.
The sun was going down and I retraced my steps through the woods. I found the Gatorade on the log and noticed a dark pond a few yards by in a clearing of brush and tangled branches. Seeing as my Gatorade was warm, I realized the unnecessary nature of my dusk trek. I poored out the ultra-blue liquid into the pond and some red-eyed fish rose to the top.
The next day I was in the town and I tripped on the curb. Webern appeared from behind the church and helped me up and brought me back to his room to bandage the knee (which was badly skinned).
That was awfully nice of him, I thought.