…check, check, is this thing on?

by bmccoy

Listen:

Hmm. I flick on the light in a room that has been used primarily to store old boxes, pictures, letters, poems, and ideas to change the world.  The cockroaches flee from the sudden light. I step over broken picture frames and ticket stubs. I have to brush cob webs away from my face.

I see an old player piano in the back corner of the room. Brightly colored, full of lovable pre-written songs sure to evoke both joy and sorrow, as music does. I’ve seen this piano many times as I’ve piled stacks of nonsense atop its bench. Receipts, high school transcripts, owner’s manuals, junk mail.  Anything that doesn’t have a home but I can not bring myself to throw away. You could call it noise. 

Often I think, “yes, today is the day I sit down and enjoy what this piano has to offer,” and just as often, I sit down and do something else. As I see it today, I’m drawn to it. In need of the creative outlet it fulfills, desperate for an opportunity to be creative. Probably, if i’m honest, desperate for an audience.

I continue the miles long walk across the boarded up room, pulled toward the player piano, unconcerned about nearly anything else. I stand in front of it. 

“Hello you son of a bitch.” I say out loud. I have equal parts love and hatred for the thing. Now that I stand before it, it is ugly, a waste of time, a toy, incapable of making true music.  I pity the player piano. Look at it, it is nothing. It wants a piece of my soul because it can not exist without me. I don’t owe it anything. 

I turn to leave. I’ll just find another stack of paper to put on the bench so there is no room to sit down. I’ll find an “app” for it. I’ll fill my time with other things, things that are easier but do not give me what I know, or i think i know i need. 

I sit down. 

I place my hands on the keys. 

I push. 

….

Nothing. 

“Such is life” i think to myself. Rather than verbally assault the poor piano, my best friend, I laugh. Much ado about nothing. I trace down the chord, realizing that the piano must be plugged in if it is to perform. I’m on my hands and knees, in the dark of the room, surrounded by cobwebs and having just trudged over what very well could be a former life. Faces of friends smile on pictures wrinkled and forgotten. Stories that don’t matter anymore are clinging to be remembered. I am holding the chord, looking at the pronged plug that is begging to go to the outlet, begging for life. I am the great decider. I can walk away, or I can plug the thing in and see if there is another round left. I sigh. I plug it in . The lights come on, and the motor hums the old familiar sound. 

Look out kids. 

The blog is back. 

 

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