Pianos & Puke

I have no musical talent. Can’t even clap along at a concert. Despite this my mom put me in piano lessons. Forced me to reproduce the wretched tones of classical music. Songs that, much like the plague, have survived the ages. Bach. Beethoven. Untalented hacks with white wigs, wooden teeth, and unwiped asses. First I was subjected to their creations in the car. Then they chased me home as one sister clanked all 88 forms of aural warfare. Finally I was conscripted to these ranks. Given this faulty weapon. Sticky keys to make shitty songs. The piano.

My elementary school was right across the street from the Catholic church. Once a week I left class to take lessons with the church pianist. Carried music books in my backpack. I had no knack for this machine. No interest in working its keys. Though we had a piano at home I only practiced so as to not be embarrassed at the next lesson. Could clank a mean C-B-A. Stomp the pedal to make it deeper. I never mastered more than that. Hands never left the middle. Basic notes. Boring songs. Little Nolan wanted nothing to do with it.

During one winter lesson I started feeling sick. Was sweating and could hardly move my hands. Movement made me nauseous. Eyes circled the cavernous church. The pews and puke green carpet. All I could do was peck the keys. Despite this the instructor wouldn’t let me go ’til the lesson was over. Had no sympathy for a sick kid with no interest. By the end I couldn’t even keep my head up. Did all I could to not yak across the keys. A stomach concoction sure to change the way songs played at Mass. “O Come, All Ye Faithful” as interpreted through gut spunk.

Finally it was over. My teacher commended me for getting through the lesson. I left the church and walked back to school. A short stroll that was just enough to put me over the edge. Our obese lunch lady was smoking out front. Could tell I was about to vomit. She told me to “Do it outside, honey.” I dropped to knees. Puked across the entrance. A hot blast against cold Dakota weather. Acid steamed to atmosphere. Froze to cement. The natural aftermath of touching a piano.

Years later my little sister took lessons. Her teacher was a teen and rather religious. No TV and denim dresses. She said most songs were satanic. Everything was satanic. Her sole rebellion the occasional sporting of pants. Her little sister was also a rebel. Also religious but strayed from the path. She got gangbanged by an H addict and his friends. I blame piano for her downfall. It’s the only clear cause.

Long story short: Avoid pianos unless you’re looking to get sick or the stick from multiple men.

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