2Cellos and Playing at the Ritz
Mum paid for my piano lessons, but I paid for them with fingernails clipped to the quick (a classmate said, Eeeow, you chew your fingernails. No, I said, I play the piano). I practised two hours a day. An hour before school, and an hour after. The piano was in the basement, at Dad’s insistence because the noise gave him headaches, and as I practised, I pretended the basement was the lobby of the Ritz, although I’d never been to the Ritz, and that I was the hotel’s pianist. I wore a long black dress, and never slouched over the piano keys because Mum said that posture was important if you want to be respected. And since all of this was pretend, Mum also worked at the Ritz – she kept the lobby clean and dust-free with her soft yellow cloth, tins of bees wax, and tidy-up-box for snotty tissues from guests moved to tears by my endless catalogue of memorised music. Last autumn, after the hotels reopened from the pandemic, we stayed at a guest house in Cornwall. It had a piano in the lobby. I walked over and struck middle C with my index finger. And that was it. Nothing more came out of me. Couldn’t remember one song that I’d memorised all those years ago. It’s like high school Spanish lessons; the only thing I remember is Mi casa es su casa. It was a lovely hotel though.
A bit of flash semi-fiction for Song Shine Sounds Flashback Friday, plus a little music from 2Cellos, Luka Sulic and Hauser, playing Whole Lotta Love vs. Beethoven 5th Symphony. ©Misky 2022 Shared with #amwriting on Twitter.