Ebony and mostly Ivory


There are a few chips from us being careless over the years.  Nothing that changes the sound but the keys that once where bright have faded over the years.  And for a few years no one touched it other than to sweep away the dust collected from the plant sitting on top.  Hours of my rear end sitting on that bench having a teacher actually swat my hand when I was wrong.  [She was a perfectionist, 9 year old me was not!]

When my parents sold their house during my senior year in high school, Kathy volunteered a place in her house for me to keep my piano.  By that point I was a better player and it kept us both remembering other things that were simpler.  Even after college the joke was I had to remember to make arrangements to move it to my own home.  26 years that has been a constant reminder of my place in her life.  [at least a visual, daily companion.]

Long ago I stopped playing for other people.  Trading synthesizers for an actual piano, headphones keeping the sounds to myself.  The emotions I was feeling remaining there are well.  So when Kathy got home from wherever it is she went, I didn’t bother stop playing this time.  I was caught in a loop of wanting to finish what I was doing and knowing that it was helpful for her to know I trust her enough to allow myself the release that comes from that piano.

I’ve played in bands during college and for a few years after.  Guys sitting in the basement of a frat house or in someone’s garage pretending we were Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin?  But that’s different, you blend in.

The technician at my latest poke and prod session was playing a version of Sound of Silence I hadn’t heard.  A little heavier than Simon and Garfunkel intended, but the use of strings and timpani caught my attention.  So when my ride dumped me off at home I sat down to try to mimic what I thought I heard.

It’s a very basic song for piano.  My issue is the muffled sounds in my right ear, damn seizures!  But after Kathy listened for a while, she did the one thing I have never understood, taped it.  From the backside you can’t tell I’m sick, you only see me leaned over.  Later she sent it to the family just so that they could see me the way they need to.  The only reason I even know is that I’m including in the list.  No one ever wrote me about it, they know better.

It was like seeing Bigfoot or the Lock Ness Monster, rare but seems to happen a few times in people’s lives.

What you can’t see on the screen is the picture of my daughter on the phone or how it is sitting next to the picture of Kathy’s daughter.  I’m trying to be open to the idea that somewhere in space and time they are looking out for each other.  They were the reason I felt the need to sit down.  I wanted to have an audience even if they were only in my mind’s eye.

Getting those emotions out for a little time was wonderful.  They remain locked up too often.  Those too girls made for great muses and in their own way always have.  Maybe the song was just what we all needed.


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