Friday, July 20, 2018

Henry the Grand


This is Henry.

I am in love with Henry. He makes my heart feel like it's going to burst. He's a rickety old Everett grand piano, but even a rickety old grand can work miracles. His ivory keys are yellowed and chipped, and he has some water stains in the wood that I may never get rid of completely. But he's my Henry, and I love him.

George has been a good piano. He's the piano my parents bought in 1974, and he's the piano I've played and loved for more than 40 years now. He's been my solace so many times. And he's been moved from apartment to apartment, state to state, ever since my parents gave him to me to keep back in the early 1990s. I still have him, but he's going to go to a very good home soon.

And now I have Henry. I have so little experience playing on ivory keys, and I just can't explain how they feel under the fingers. Warm. Responsive. Like they're communicating with my deepest self. It's weird. Perhaps it's just my imagination. (Ya think?) And I write all this, knowing that I may eventually replace them all with plastic.

And the power of the sound ... it's nothing like ol' George.

Still, I will cry real tears when George goes to his new home. He is a part of my most profound identity. He helped shape it; he is part of my soul. When I give away George, I'll give away a part of myself.

But Henry is already part of me, too. He came to me free, from a church that didn't want or need him. Moving, cleaning, and tuning ended up costing almost $1,000, so he wasn't totally free. But now I have a gorgeous antique piano with a surprisingly good sound, and a magical feel under the fingers that just makes my heart overflow with love.

I know all of these descriptions sound a overly sensual, but that's what piano has always been for me.

Sadly, I am so out of practice. I'm tempted to start taking lessons again because I know I need them. Not that I have the time ...

I love Henry. Henry loves me. I've loved my sweet George for 44 years, and now he's going to go to someone who doesn't have a piano but is going to love him as much as I have for so many years. (Well, maybe not as much. But almost?)

Life is good. It really is. So why can't I stop crying?

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