Sunday, November 29, 2009


In a fit of anger, or perhaps sadness, or maybe just insanity, my fingers ghost over the keys, playing over the lesson book, choppy, unattentive, as I hear the happiness outside. Maybe it's jealousy. My mother walks in, and my rendition of "Deck the Halls" ends on a sour note, then morphs into a fiddling of keys, a machine-gun massacre of music as I jumble the notes and make the lesson book bleed out its ears.

My mother leaves, and my "music" instantaneously becomes sane, or something similar to it, again. I play my favorite chords, the first 9 to Coldplay's "Viva la Vida", and smile. The smile is wiped off when my father, as per usual, yells from outside, "Play the next chords!" Instead of shouting "No!" and teasing, as is normal in banter, my chords become a rapid succession of Db Db Db Ab x 4 Eb Eb Db Ab x 5, over and over again, faster and faster, eventually morphing into a mash-up of notes and random outbursts frighteningly similar to my compositions as a 7-year old, pounding on my grandparents' old piano.

I finish off with a half finished sliding of my fingers from the left, then all the way from the right, and then, like an afterthought, a middle C, quiet and alone. I turn off the piano, turn off the light, and leave.

Music is art, so I suppose mine is fingerpainting.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

That Girl

Hey, mister .
Yeah, you.
You read the paper today?
Yeah? Which one? The New York Times?
Doesn’t matter.
Did you see that story? About the girl who jumped off that bridge?
“Oh, that girl,” you say. Just that girl? Do you even know her name?

Well, let me tell you something about that girl.
That girl’s name was Kimberly Ann, and she was only 18.
Oh, now you’re looking at me funny. No, I ain’t hitting you up for money. I just want to tell a story.
Where was I?
She was only 18, fresh outta high school.
She had her whole life ahead of her.
“Then why’d she jump?” you ask. I’ll tell you why.
Kimberly Ann, she had no hopes or dreams.
From the day she was born, to the day she died
Nobody told her to dream.
Nobody told her to hope.
Nobody was there for Kimberly Ann except for her lonely old self, or so it seemed.
Well, I guess I was wrong. She did have one dream.
Kimberly Ann wanted to be a fashion designer
And make clothes for all them girls
And she’d spend hours at that sewing machine, making all sorts of pretty things.
But things never seemed to go right for Kimberly Ann.
Her daddy came home drunk one night
And smashed her baby to bits
Ripped up her masterpieces
And stomped on her dreams.
Poor, sad Kimberly Ann.

Kimberly Ann liked watching movies, though, and music.
Her favorite color was yellow, because it reminded her of the sun.

She was my best friend.

I’m sorry for taking up your time, mister. As I said, I’m not hitting you up for money.
I just want you to help me remember that girl.