I wanted to play piano when I was little. I have long thin fingers that I would mesmerise myself with, watching the way they moved up and down in the air as a very small child.
I loved the way it felt, moving my hands and fingers in tandem or not, up and down and across the imagined keys. I loved my toy keyboard, it’s out of tune battery powered static sounds.
And I loved the old mini-organ my grandma and grandpa bought for me. It was an old Hammond style thing with those switches and buttons to make it sound like a different instrument.
I tried and failed to teach myself sheet music, but I could never quite make sense of those shapes, as fun as they may have looked.
It had taken a lot, to buy that old piano from the thrift store. I’m still not sure how much my grandparents paid for it, but I know how proud my grandpa was when he heard me play the first few notes of Auld Lang Syne.
He grinned this big toothy grin and said “Did you all hear that!” I think I was about ten at the time and I was grinning a goofy smile as well. I continued to play those six or so notes. They probably weren’t the right ones, I was just going by ear entirely. But it felt like magic. A magic I could control and create.
I don’t remember how much it would have cost to get piano lessons. But it was too much, I remember that. Social security had my grandparents watching every penny, and between my dad’s hospital bills, and my mom working the night shift and every shift available, and still paying off the adoption fee for me over twelve years later made piano lessons impossible.
I don’t remember why I moved my piano to my parents house either.... I can’t fathom why I had wanted that so much, and if I could go back I would have kept it with my grandparents.
My cats absolutely destroyed it. My dad was recovering from surgery after surgery and he couldn’t keep the cats from using the piano as a scratching post. And I couldn’t play it when I wanted to because my mom was always sleeping before during the day.
I’m twenty five now and I haven’t thought about my old piano in a long time.
But I am now. I’m thinking about all the beautiful piano pieces I wished to play. Chopin mostly, was my first love. I had Raindrop Prelude on repeat from the ages of eleven to fourteen. That and Flur De Lis.
I’m thinking about how hopeless I’ve felt lately. Worthless. I’ve always struggled with depression, since I was about twelve but honestly maybe it was there before too, hidden and washed away by words like “sensitive” and “unique”.... but I’m thinking about my old piano right now.
I’m thinking about lessons. How much it may cost to take them.
I’m thinking about my fingers dancing across ivory.
I’m thinking about my grandpa smiling at me with a goofy toothed smile.
“Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind, should old acquaintance be forgot and should auld lang syne? We two have run about the slopes, and picked the daisies fine But we’ve wandered many a weary foot, since auld lang syne.”
“And there’s a hand my trusty friend and give me a hand o’ thine.”
I’m thinking about my grandma being just as happy and proud as my grandpa had been. Maybe I can make her smile like he had that day. I know she misses him just like I do.
I think I may be in the market for a new piano... and perhaps piano lessons.