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The Hammond

published: 2010-02-20

Everytime I see an organ, I think of my Hammond.
I say “my Hammond” but I actually don’t have one. Once upon a time I did. It was never in my possession, but it was mine. My grandpa – the first of all grandparents to have died, and the one I have least memories of – had a Hammond. He lived in a flat. We would go see him once a year with my parents. I suspect only because we had to. I can’t recall any other family member having played that Hammond, except for me. My mother, perhaps. She plays the piano sometimes.
Two other things I remember about my grandpa’s flat: the cheese puffs. And a portable four-in-a-row type of game. It had pins. As there were no other games, this is what my sister and I would endlessly play while the grownups talked. I also recall scraping the cheese off my fingertips with my teeth. And washing my hands before playing the Hammond. Not because I was told to, but because I wanted to.
When my grandfather died, I somehow believed that Hammond was mine. Maybe even one of the grownups told me it was. By that time I was in my teens. We didn’t have a enough space for it and so it was stored at my aunt’s place.
My 16 year old cousin then sold the Hammond. He also sold my grandpa’s Vespa. And he now sells deforested land in Brazil to Arab sheiks.
Everytime I see an organ, I feel sad for not having been capable of protecting my Hammond.

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