Piano

Tuesday, 27 December 2005

The piano stands against the wall in the living room just as it had 35 years ago.  Its presence is like that of a cherished friend and when I slide onto the cool, polished bench and spread the fingers of both hands to touch the keys, the rush of memories and emotion leaves me breathless. 

I hear him calling to me from somewhere far away.

I bend closer to the keys and breathe the musty scent of old wood.  My fingers, as if by their own will, gently, tentatively lower ebony and ivory, and as they gain confidence the flood of remembering washes over me.  I greedily drink of its melody.

His voice is drawing closer.

With my forehead resting on the mahogany case I smooth my hands over its side surfaces, memorizing each grain, each weathered mark of age.

His hand is on my shoulder.  Time is short.

The piano starts to fade away and even though I cling with all my strength, it abandons me, once again.

“I’m here,” I whisper after a moment, finding my voice as I stretch the sleep out of my body beneath warm sheets.  “I’m awake.” 

“Good morning,” he kisses my cheek.

“Good morning,” I smile, and then lay quietly for a few moments.  Good-bye, old friend.