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.


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