October 12th, 2006


his show

Yesterday the piano tuner came to tune my upright piano. I am going to sell it. I meant to ask him after he tuned it if he could place a value on it and if he knew how best I could sell it, but for some reason I didn't.

It seems like some sort of betrayal to sell it.  My father rented it in 1966, new, when I came to California, so I could have a piano to play, to practice on, where I lived as a student. He kept asking if I wanted him to buy it and I said no, but eventually he had rented it so long he did buy it. I know he wasted money doing it that way and I know it bothered him, irritated him.

It's a good piano. A really good one. Not a freecycle item. I want it to go to a place that appreciates it. In a way I think I was ashamed to tell Ferrell, the tuner, of my intentions. As if he'd be shocked. Why would he be? No reason. He sells pianos on occasion himself. He has been known to burn them up even. The bad ones. Mine's a good one, which is making it harder.

Ferrell is a real talker. He said he would come sometime after three yesterday but didn't arrive until almost six. I guess that's "after three". I guessed it was at least in part because he talks. So I was ready for the talking. But not necessarily the topic.

He slid easily into his story. He is writing a book. Actually,  he intends it to be four books ultimately, each telling the story of one person. He has been thinking and reading and doing research for years and now he's ready. And the story is wild. In a nutshell: he is telling the story of four famous people who for different reasons faked their own deaths, using blowfish, just the right amount, so that they would appear dead for three days, then wake up. Three days. Yes, you got that. And yes, Jesus is among them.

He believes he's onto something. I think it's too fantastic, too "DaVinci Code". While he was telling me about it, I listened and commented, agreed and challenged. Laughed at times. And yet it was all his show. I was his audience.He said he doesn't often get to talk to someone who actually reads and knows what he is talking about. Yet while I was listening and responding I was trying to fit him into another mold, imagining, what would it be like to love this man? It would be disappointing. Because he didn't see me. He responded to my questions but he didn't see me. It wasn't a conversation  although it may have appeared to be one.

The last time he tuned my piano I told someone I was glad he charged by the job and not by the hour. I would have been out a lot of money if he'd charged by the hour.

Little pieces

Today Paul brought out the stuff from his room that belonged to Elaine, Mary, and me. I did not remember that any of this was in there. There were clothes - the men's suit jackets that Elaine wore for a while, that looked so good on her. There were Elaine's certificates and diplomas,  from  high school, from cosmetology school and later courses.  There was an old small movie camera, a darling in a case, that was probably my mother's. And more. A box of papers that look ominously like my mother's stuff.

It all brought back memories and made me sad, as if I were looking at the past, as if I were already dead.