I do not own the film "Equilibrium."


There was a man called Ludwig Van Beethoven, and there was a record.

Later—much later—you find out that it was Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, and that he was deaf.

You find out that Beethoven would cut the legs off his piano and place it on the floor. That way, banging his fingers into the keys with all his might, he could feel the vibrations. It wasn't the same as hearing the music. It wasn't much more than a haunting intangible ghost of sensation, a peek through the glass wall.

A person can never truly lose the ability to feel, in the same way that a person can never truly forget what music sounds like. Auditory nerves may become obsolete, hormones may reach equilibrium, but memories are harder to remove.

Prozium, the wonder drug, dulls your senses into nothing, but if you bang hard enough, you can remember.

The sound your gun makes when you shoot Partridge, it's a sort of "bang," and it reminds you of the sound of a door bursting open as a squad breaches your home to arrest your wife.

The final pound of fervent fingers upon polished piano keys mirrors the way that little glass vial smashes upon your bathroom floor, liquid seeping.

You don't feel it. Not really. Not yet.

But it starts something, and when you first hear Symphony No. 9, you cry, because there is a man who understood.