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the past and the furious

published: 2011-06-24

I have had my piano restored. Now comes the confrontation with the passing of time: did I really know how to play this twenty years ago? I sit here looking at the notes and feeling like an entirely different person. I am somehow trying to inhabit the mind and body of a wild and passionate teenager.
How about Satie then? No, not Satie! Yes Satie. It’s too late: the sheet music to his Gymnopedie has fallen on the floor. I have picked it up and started playing it. I don’t really want to play it, just like I hadn’t wanted to play it back then. Back then I had played it for my best friend’s stepfather. His real daughter had died. She had been run over by a truck at age 17. His real daughter had always played the three Gymnopedies. Meanwhile, my best friend and I had reached the age of 17 and my best friend was battling severe anorexia. Nobody in their home played piano and so she asked me to play it for her stepfather’s birthday. I did, and so I helped her try to communicate with her stepfather.
My best friend has long disappeared. Yet right now she is as much here as is her dead stepsister. Maybe if I play the piece a few more times, just maybe the memory will finally fade.

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