my parents got me a slot in the chinese new year pageant to play the piano. i had never worn my concert dress with that particular bench before, and by the time i reached for the first chord, i already knew i was sunk; the sheer material on the back of my legs made very little friction against the hard black enameled bench, and no one thought to give me a stool for my feet.

i sank continuously from the bench, but maintained rhythm as much as i could; at one point, i played with my hands up by my chin as my feet scrabbled for a foothold against the pedals to push myself back into the position. up and down i maneuvered, until i ended with the last few measures standing, pushing the bench back with my butt in frustration.

i don't remember if i felt embarrassed or worried, only that i locked onto a determination to finish the piece properly. my mother still tells this story, and always laughs herself to tears in recollection.

i believe her when she said it was a riot, but i also hope she was proud of me for sticking to it.

17 February 2018 23:25

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