in my own little corner, in my own little chair
i can be whatever i want to be.
however, it was a rescue, so forgiveness is key. a woman had been forced from her home and a good samaritan happened by at the exact moment her possessions were being moved. he thought the old upright intriguing, unique, a piece of history. so, he heaved the monstrous weight onto his truck, brought it to where the elements would not harm it and now it sits, quietly, in a warehouse.
i was there on business, and i didn't notice it as first. then i glanced. immediately, i remembered my first ivories.
my mama and daddy, always lacking money but never ingenuity, purchased an old, reconditioned upright from a man in town. i was around eight and my mama said i was going to learn to play the piano. it was not anything this farm girl had in mind, but when mama instructed, i knew better than to argue.
it was delivered one day while i was at school. mama and daddy had placed it in the living room, a room that was never used and always cold. it was the home to daddy's parents' red velvet settee and chairs. they, like the room, were untouched. up until this point, i used it for day-dreaming. a place where i could go after dinner, close the door behind me, turn on my record player and listen to the old 45's i had borrowed from friends. the easter parade mixed with i'm an american band belted by grand funk railroad. i'd pretend i was on stage, singing the most beautiful tune, bowing to the incessant applause from the crowd.
lessons came first. i don't remember the teacher's name, but i remember traveling to cornelia, about a 30-minute drive, and walking into this old brick ranch house and being met by 'her'. she was ancient, wore matron-like baggy dresses and smelled of moth balls. so did every inch of her dark-paneled house. the piano room was small, and so was the piano. not an upright like mine, but a small spinet, slammed tightly against a wall. on top was the clicker, the metronome, i hated it. she kept the wrist weights there, too. i hated them even more. she would sit on the stool next to me, shouting out time and notes, her breath as rank as dead meat and her fingers as wrinkled as an un-ironed cotton shirt.
lessons continued and i grumbled every tuesday. for my first recital, i played in my own little corner because i loved cinderalla and that was her song. i think it was my song, too. i continued lessons for about three years until finally my mama couldn't stand my complaints. i persuaded her i could do it on my own and i promised i would never stop playing. i kept that promise, for it is there that my love for music was born.
today, i rarely play, but when i do, i never forget that old upright that was bought with my parents' love. i never forget the moments in that vacant room when i was a star.
i swear the piano i discovered in the warehouse belonged to me once-upon-a-time, for i don't know what ever became of mine. i'm probably wrong, but i like to think my ivories made it through the years still standing tall and making music. it seems a shame that it will spend its final days in a warehouse. i might be able to change that.