Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sit Down, Mister

Tuesday night, around seven, sitting at my bench, I pulled out my keyboard. I plugged the power supply into the wall, placed the stand in the demarcated holes, and pressed the white power button. 

I began to play what I usually do. First came Für Elise, then Adele's "Someone Like You", followed promptly by a rendition of "Für Elise" using a harp, allegro like they did in Django.

After that, using the Blu-Ray player in my room, I looked up a tutorial on how to play the Scala & Kolacny version of Radiohead's "Creep", even though I have the sheet music. After learning the chord sequence (D Maj., F#, G, G-minor) and trying to also do the left-hand, I sat there while my hands moves in sync rather than independently. I laughed off the move.

Soon enough, I played "Someone like You" again but quit midway through the piece after I double-tapped a key. As I sat there in the silence, I began to contemplate life. 

For the longest time, I've wanted to travel by train to a city about thirty miles from where I live. Taking three different public transport networks, I'd get there in two hours, thirty minutes. And for $10 no less. Then I thought what it is I would do when I got there. I decided that I would discover the university there.

I've been there before, but always during the summer, and only in a few portions, usually just walking past them in the summer heat. 

Leisurely pace, no pressure. Then I'd walk to a nearby entertainment strip, that conveniently has restaurants, lounges, and whatever else a student could think of as a diversion. Then I thought out a budget. "$20 for lunch, etc."

Then, as suddenly as the budget left my mind, something more serious came. I thought about running into The Archenemy. A long shot? Yes. A possibility? Not out of the question. 

I thought how I would approach the situation. Sitting there, walking him pass-by or seeing him near at a rapid pace. Do I look up? Look down? Look as if I don't care? I didn't come to a conclusion before I ruled out the notion that he wouldn't be walking around on a Saturday afternoon.

After ruling-out a "run-in" while standing, I ruled-in a "run-in" while sitting. Although much less possible that a locomotive run-in, I thought about the situation. I'd be sitting there, at my table, enjoying whatever dish I had ordered, and there he'd walk through the door. 

*cue angelic chorus and overly-bright background*

Whatever the case, I had gone the "invite him over" route. I guess imagining the situation had made me gather enough nerve to do this. He would sit down. I set my plate aside as I began to talk. 

"Look," I started, "I'm sorry for how things have gone. It was never my intention to let things go as far as they did. I thought I was being funny, as most people do, and when you chatted me up a later, I acted like a jerk and a dumb-ass. Did I think it would ever be this bad? No."

I stopped to take a drink.

"I knew that I had made you angry, that it blow over. But it didn't. Then it exploded and I ended up on my ass."

I thought about a documentary I had watched on PBS about Johnny Carson. I thought specifically when his friend, Joan Rivers, talked about holding a press conference about a talk show she was going to host, and Johnny's reaction to that. Ms. Rivers went on to say that she called Mr. Carson, but that as soon as she said, "Johnny?", he hung up the telephone.

Ms. Rivers ended with this: "After that, he never spoke to me again."

I looked ahead and thought on how I had ruined something nice. "But you know, it's what happened. And what can be done? Things are shot. This shit is more dead than Michael Jackson." 

For five minutes, I talked out what I was going to say. It didn't feel crazy, it felt right. 

Finally, I took a deep breath and looked down at my keyboard.

"I guess we'll never know," I said. "I guess we won't."

I cracked my knuckles and began "Someone Like You" again. 

And this time, there wasn't a single double-tap.