Snow, snow, everywhere I look there’s snow. In the air, on the ground, in my brain… If spring arrives under the snow, and no one can see it, is it really there? We had a few beautiful days and some of the snow looked like it was thinking about maybe considering to melt. But now it’s snowing again. And it’s everywhere! I’m going nuts.
But I’m not here to talk about snow. I’m here to talk about another thing that has been driving me nuts lately. Namely, my neighbors.
See, my neighbors have a piano. And I hate neighbors with a piano.
No. That’s not entirely accurate.
I hate neighbors who play the piano day and night.
No. That’s not entirely accurate either.
What I hate is neighbors who play said piano day and night, and have the audacity to play it better than I play my piano.
Yes. That’s definitely what I hate.
I used to play classical piano. Did all sorts of concerts and people would actually come and listen. And they hardly ever threw rotten tomatoes at me. Probably because rotten tomato juice is really hard to get out of a grand piano and people know this. Even so, after a while I started to play with the lid closed, just in case.
When I moved away from home, my new apartment was the size of a postage stamp. If I stood in the middle I could flush the toilet, make dinner and take a nap on the bed at the same time. Very convenient. But I couldn’t fit my piano. As the years went by my fingers slowly grew slower, fatter and horribly clumsy.
When I moved in with M I suddenly had room for a piano again, and M, my hero, bought an electric stage piano that sounds and feels almost like a real piano. I play it all the time, a little Beethoven, a little Bach, a little Evanescence. All your major composers. Right now I’m in the process of re-learning Michael Nyman’s The Heart Asks Pleasure First. My fingers are still slow and fat and clumsy, but I was getting better all the time.
That is, until the neighbors moved in. The neighbors and their damned piano. A real piano. No electric crap for them. A real pianoforte that sounds awesome. Even through the walls. Now I can’t practice anymore. If I play a song on Monday, the neighbors will play that exact same song on Tuesday. If I play late on Friday night, they will play early on Saturday morning. No one wins and no one backs down. It’s a Mexican standoff without the guns.
A Cold War without the nuclear bombs.
A Quentin Tarantino film without massive amounts of blood.
And with lots of pianos.
I have to be at the top of my game. Every note perfect. Every song flawless. My only problem now is, where the hell do I go to practice? *