I've been saying for years I would get around to learning how to play piano. I kinda started trying to pick it up in college, but there wasn't really anybody to explain to me basics and back in the day we didn't have all the wonders of the internet that we do today (omg I'm so old).
Anyway, so I broke down and bought one! It's nothing crazy special, but I did make sure it had the full 88 keys and fully weighted hammer action keys and all that jazz so it's as close to a real piano as I can afford. Today was pretty hectic so I only sorta scratched the surface getting together basics of what NOT to do and then started learning scales and how you're supposed to move your fingers over/under to get the basic idea of how your hand sorta... there must be a word for this but you get a tuck and move sorta action going. And I have to say, there is a night and day difference on this keyboard versus the ones I tried to use more than a decade ago, this feels so much more like a real piano that it's almost annoying, my fingers have unequal strength and responsiveness right now, so that tuck and go motion gets me sometimes, the left to right motion of the right hand catches me if I'm not paying particular attention to my thumb for the tuck maneuver. That should get easier in time.
I might be super lame, but after an hour I can finally do that mostly correctly, and I was super proud of myself for learning this. I'd like to spend longer, but I think the most I can really budget and stay faithful to is about 1 or 1 and 1/2 hours a day toward this, but I'm pretty happy with that progress. I also have Mary had a Little Lamb stuck so thoroughly in my brain now that I want to eat a shotgun and my fingers keep trying to twitch toward where the keys should be.
Found a lady that gives lessons locally and sent her an email to get that sorted, so I'm quite looking forward to this. I like the idea of having a goal to work toward that I can ever improve upon, especially when I get frustrated/anxious/depressed about actual life. Perhaps that way I could escape into something meaningful and worthwhile instead of moping or feeling bad.
On another note, I remembered a thing from a very long time ago, because I was standing outside on my front porch and I still keep my Christmas-style white string lights on my porch because when all of us hang out on the porch it provides nice lighting. Don't even know why I remembered this. So have a random memory.
Work starts at one pm. Each day, I stay until at least ten pm, and drive home afterward. It is Christmas, so we have decorated our home with Christmas lights to festively welcome Santa. We can't do much, because we don't have the money, but we can afford a few strings of lights for the front, and a string around the indented, shaded-by-trees carport. One day a lady with a child (perhaps about five?) waves to me as I pull into my carport and I see her kid grinning and pointing, and I wave back. I remember when I was his age, and seeing those lights was a wonder.
As an adult, it hardly seems special. I am twenty-one years old, and I can barely imagine anymore what it was like to be his age, but I can vaguely recall that amazement crystalline in his eyes when his mouth tilts open and he points, and his mother smiles and waves at me. Christmas passes, and we take the lights down. Except for the carport lights; we like those, it gives ambient light to a dark carport, and we're fine leaving them there indefinitely. We keep talking about taking them down, but I just don't want to. Maybe I'm lazy. Maybe I'm just short and can't reach them and we don't have a ladder and I don't feel like climbing. Who knows, but I'm not taking them down.
Weeks pass. It is now mid-February, and we still have Christmas lights on our carport. They're visible from the street and, while shaded through some trees, easily identifiable for what they are. I drive to work. I drive home. I rinse, wash, and repeat, and forget about that mother with her child. One day I'm driving home again and this time I see the kid and his mom again. They're both motioning to me, but my car window won't roll down; it has broken and it is too expensive for me to fix. I stop. After all, we're headed toward each other in a deserted side street, and I might as well say hello. I open my door slightly motioning that my window doesn't roll down. As I do, she lets down her window. At first I think they might be having trouble, I don't recognize them for who they were.
"We wanted to tell you that we look at your lights every night, and my son wants to tell you to never take them down. He loves Christmas!"
I laugh; a deep, genuine, rolling laugh. "I promise they'll stay up as long as I'm here! You guys be safe and have a great night."
She smiles, he smiles, they wave in tandem and drive away as I shut my door and pull into my carport. It is no problem to keep these lights on as long as I live here if it makes them happier to see them each night. It makes my concerns seem silly, even. I can't voice why I feel the way I do, but I feel that if I can keep these lights on, if they smile when they see them even though to most adults they're a bit tacky after the holiday, then who cares? Isn't it hopeful, isn't it incredible that something so simple makes them happy? If they feel joy because of something that I do, something that requires almost zero effort from me and hardly any money, who am I to deprive them of it?
This is one of those stories that has no ending, though. I moved on. The house moved on. The other person living in it moved on. I'll never know what happened after that. But for the space of several months, I kept those fucking lights up and on, because who wouldn't?