I have realized that an unintended consequence of playing piano, sometimes competitively, for 12 years, is that when I fall, I go down like a tree. Usually, I don’t fall often enough to think about this, but I have had a few clumsy weeks – sober, entirely sober, weeks.I don’t need any external help in tripping over cords, doorstops, and myself (one time, I fell down because the heel of my shoe got stuck in the hem of my pant leg. Oh my god, why can’t I stop talking about pant hems? It’s like a sickness. I don’t even talk about them anywhere else).
Anyway, I noticed that during the fall, my arms, which are supposed to be used for balance and swinging to and from branches, hang limply at my sides, and it confused me every time. Why am I not supporting myself? What’s wrong with me? And then I realized – I’m protecting my hands. Because you know, in case anyone asks me to bang out Fantasie Impromptu…impromptu, I wouldn’t want to have an excuse of a bruised pinky.
For my dog. Not for me. I mean, I’ve had major abdominal surgery, which produced a lovely human baby and the knowledge, per my husband, who observed the whole thing, that I “have a lot of fat in there”. Whatever. This isn’t about me, this is about our puppy, who recently had the ability to make babies taken away from her by major abdominal surgery. Here are the differences between us:
1) Dog is told to rest. Dog spends one day recuperating, and the rest of the days sailing of couches, beds, and chairs like she is auditioning for Swan Lake. Humans spend the weeks before the removal of switches ineffectively trying to get Dog to relax. Dog gets so bored she starts playing fetch with herself and walking on hind legs while waving her front paws around.
2) Human is told to rest. Human spends two weeks lying in bed and worrying that she will never walk again because abdominal muscles apparently do a lot of things that humans do not appreciate until they have had them separated.
My son is my favorite person probably on the whole planet. Granted, I did cart him around everywhere for at least 9 months, and I was also pregnant with him, so yes, okay, I’m biased. Aside from that biologically-mandated response, I have stories. Stories that I try to permanently save in my brain and which will keep me warm when I am 90 and in a nursing home all alone.
1. In an effort to endear our dog to Son, Son was asked to pick out a dog toy to buy for Dog. After carefully squeezing each stuffed toy, he settled on a duck because “his squeaker sounds like somebody is tooting!”
2. Upon drinking gatorade for the first time, he exclaimed, “WHAT IS THIS DELICIOUS DRINK! IT TASTES LIKE CHERRIES!” In explaining Gatorade to him, I mentioned that scientists created Gatorade in the lab. Even though he was, at the time, in the emergency room for a gushing & bleeding head wound sustained in his unauthorized horsing around on his bunk bed, he turned to me, mouth stained by red gatorade, forehead still bleeding slightly, smiled, and said, “If this was created by scientists, then I want to be a scientist one day, too.”
Everyone has a favorite poem, and I’m pretty sure that the choice says something about the person. This is my favorite poem ever, as much as I don’t want it to be.
I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.
And I watered it in fears
Night and morning with my tears,
And I sunned it with smiles
And with soft deceitful wiles.
And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright,
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine –
And into my garden stole
When the night had veiled the pole;
In the morning, glad, I see
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.
– William Blake
It’s not that I want those that I am angry with to be poisoned, but I do like reading about grudges.