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Practising piano all by myself
I walked down the hall listening for an empty room. The sounds of different instruments fused together like some modern piece of music.
At 6 pm, I spotted a room with a beautiful Steinway grand. Somebody had just left, and I felt very lucky.
I shut the double doors and closed the long curtains.
I practised the difficult runs over and over again. Practice makes perfect. And I had less than 24 hours to make it perfect.
Sitting in front of the ivory keys took me back in time. Alone in this room, I felt the familiarity of twenty years ago when I practised for hours in the basement of the music building. It was a place where I could escape from the rest of the world.
I didn't have many responsibilities then. I was not even a music major, but I put music above all else. In front of the grand piano, I felt clarity. I felt at home.
Tonight I played and played until my empty stomach cried out for attention.
As I turned to get my coat, I saw myself in the mirror.
Oh my goodness!
Although I felt twenty years younger, I hardly looked it. What am I doing here? I can't fool these kids who are young enough to be my children!
I hastily left the room out of shock and embarrassment.
How could I explain that for the first time in my life, when people ask me what I do, I am content in my reply.
"I am studying composition at the conservatory."
Yet, there are those who dare ask, "Which greenhouse in Holland?"
9 March 2004 Tuesday