Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Inglorious Tunes

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.

Lots of guns.

A Cold War without the nuclear bombs.

Nuclear bomb.

A Quentin Tarantino film without massive amounts of blood.

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? *


  1. Dear, your fingers aren't clumsy by any measure. They're close to frickin brilliant, in my most humble opinion. :-) Having a Mexican standoff in the living room every day gets a bit tiresome, though. ;P

  2. Neighbors, you can't shoot em and you can't throw a piano at them.

    Headphones or real ammo would be my suggestion.

  3. M - Ohh, you ain't seen nothing yet. The war has only just begun. I have a feeling I'll want to learn how to play the drums next...

    Mrsblogalot - Yeah, pianos are way too heavy to throw. I could probably throw ammo pretty far, though. That's a great idea.

  4. This is Juan. If you fucking fat-fingered Fins don't stop referring to every conflict you have as a "Mexican standoff," me and all seven of my Latino brothers are driving over there in a 1969 Dodge Charger and kicking the living shit out of your fucking pianos, Quentin Tarantino style. And not even fucking Evanescence will be able to bring them to life, my immortal. Ju got it, bee-atch?

  5. Juan - I ain't afraid of you dirty Mexicans. If you come here in your wannabe General Lee I'll bring all my friends and we'll point at you and laugh when your giant car gets stuck in the snow and your Mexican ass freezes to death. Then we'll throw a piano at you, but instead of kicking the living shit out of it, you'll burn it for warmth and try to eat the keys because all you'll find to eat over here is pea soup and rye bread. You're going under, bee-atch.

  6. Juan here again, texting you from a titty bar in Tijuana. You're on. A little snow don't scare us, puta. We got plenty of "snow" of our own down here, and we shovel it all over the world faster than you can shovel it back. Be there in about 2 months, give or take. We're on our time now. But when we do get there, we'll see how tough you are with a little Cholula sauce in your eyes. Spiciest thing you've over there is lingonberries, right? You'll be begging for mercy.

  7. Juan - Ha! I have lingonberries dipped in hot sauce for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I'll see you in 1 month, 29 days, 5 hours and 27 minutes sharp. Bring it on.



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