Flying past the 401 is a sneaky simple statue. It’s craving something. Clothing, maybe.
When I was a child, I thought I had control.
My piano teacher, her name was Sherri, a tall woman with tangled hair and a fur coat, sneakers, a smell of something other than what I was used to smelling, thoroughly Canadian and somehow concerned with the musical education of children ages 5-12.
Sherri wasn’t real.
Lately I keep realizing my fantasy, playing concert piano on stage for a crowd of people who are chanting my name as if the music is supporting their chants, until they’re dancing, classically, not ballet but some sort of dance that only we know, music, my music, controls the room and I am staged, elevated, lit, like a fucking ornament. I have flashes of this fantasy all my life.
It starts with Sherri.
She sits next to me on the piano bench. I am tiny. She is wearing fur. She moves her fingers through the air, “All Cows Eat Grass” or some kind acronym-pun-sentence meant to teach me a scale, her index finger punches through the air and then her middle finger, ring, pinky, she moves her index finger again but she stops to stare at me, “Are you paying attention?”
No, sorry, I’m making your fingers move.
I can hear the music even without her. I don’t need her here. All I need to do is stare at things. And that’s when they make music.
Sound is silent. When it’s good.
I stop to watch the statue wave at a bus, the bus is about to leave but it stops for him. He is grey, crossing the street, avoiding darkness, he steps on the bus but buses aren’t meant to hold statues. A hole. He falls through a hole in the floor. The hole widens, it swallows the bus driver. The driver grips the gas pedal just as he falls through the hole, grabbing anything he can for some sense of safety but with that the bus takes off, slivers of stone, splashes of blood and a squeal as the vehicle hits a tree, setting fire to the block.
As a kid, I had some sensation that I was in control of the things around me.
No this is not school. No this is not people. No this is not a piano lesson.
I don’t hear the world that summons those events.
I hear my chanting dance party.
Adults learn to cope with delusions. Erase them, ok?
Sherri laughs when my mother asks her if we’re making progress.
I laugh too.
And, with me, a crowd of people laugh and cheer and sing a song I wrote in the shower.
I’m an adult and I’ve stopped hearing the things I’d rather hear.
Every day, I feel lost to some chaos I never asked for.
Read a book, it helps.
Empty a small space, sit on the floor and read a book, helps the most.
I hope you all can dream in sound this evening.
And when you do, fuck the exit signs, ok? Take the breaking chandeliers and roll in the flaming area rug while you hum the tune of your very best friend’s laughter. I miss mine too. But, we can hear who we want to. If we try.