“The bathtub gets a D minor,” Beren tells us as he peers down the stairs at us. We all laugh.
We homeschool. The Mention of grades by a child who has never been subjected, well, this is amusing. I had just put away the hand-me-down baby grand keyboard. We inherited it from one of our expat family members, who could not travel back to Europe with such a large item. Shipping exceeded the instrument’s value.
The keyboard was intended for my brother-in-law, a scholar in literature of the distant past. He would have played lush classical pieces on the keys. Instead, The Fates sent this keyboard into my more humble and rough hands, from which I delivered it unto the Hell of instruments, The Attic. There, it remained, uncovered, wrapped only in its power supply cord, which Jared had purchased to save on batteries that otherwise powered this keyboard.
Earlier this summer, we had a brief and inspired frenzy of “let’s clean up this place and pare down because our house is small but actually reasonably sized aren’t we blessed imagine how many people lived in this house when it was built 150 years ago but still let’s clean up this place it’s a dump.”
At that time, Jared suggested we trade in the keyboard and djembe, and possibly my Marshall 4 12 cabinet. On the heels of “Yes” came “but”. In my mind, the thought looked more like this: “yesbut”, and if I had written this on a typewriter, I’d back up and overlap the “es” with “bu”.
Yesbut. You know it. I know you do.
What if I become the rock ‘n roll woman (overlap that word with mother, as above)? I will need the 4 12. What if Beren wants to play djembe? Maybe I will take up the keyboard like Nick Cave did in his later career?
In our clean up efforts, we accumulated a few bags of trash and a box of give-aways, mostly from the kitchen. I donated the bag of clothes that had been in the car’s trunk for months. I also strongly considered trading the musical instruments in.
Then, I broke a rule. I took something out of the give-away box. “Rats, I still need narrow neck Mason jar lids and rings,” I thought as I remembered the jelly jars. I grabbed a bunch of lids. I looked at the other items. Glow sticks (Beren despises them for some reason. What kid hates glow sticks?) we somehow acquired. I can bring them over next time the neighbors have a party? I waffled. I chastised myself. BACK AWAY FROM THE GIVE-AWAY BOX, RACHEL.
The djembe remains for Beren’s career in leading drum circles, though I imagine that he will want a drum with a nice and deep sound, and thus, twice as big as the one we own. I can comfort myself, and say that it is a nice object, made of wood and animal skin, and should the world continue apace, all things of the future will be made of recycled space junk and ocean-island plastics. So, the djembe stays.
The 4 12? C’mon, I have stood between Jared and the 4 12, and his suggestion to trade it in for fifteen years. The 4 12 stays, awaiting my rock ‘n roll gig. Besides, I can barricade a door with it should the Four Horsemen come.
The keyboard, you may wonder, what became of the keyboard. The keyboard has been polished off by my fingers playing it. With the assistance of a website called something like pianochords4u.biz, I have learned what piano chords look like. Yes, look like, I am a visual person. And thus, I placed small color-coded stickers on the keys. This way, I no longer have to find C, and fumble through the notes, remembering which ones do not have sharps, and so on.
I can just play, thanks to the colorful dots. I can play along to Link Wray’s “Fire and Brimstone” thanks to some guitarist tabbing out the chords, though I question one of the chords he tabbed.
Keyboard, maybe you thought you were destined for Mozart. Sorry, Jared is teaching me the intro of “We Travel the Spaceways” by Sun Ra. Instead, you get me klutzing along to visionary jazz. You get a D minor in bathtub.