Have you ever looked at a clock? I mean, really looked at a clock in depth? If you look past the white face and the secured black hands, you may encounter a multitude of memories.
One day last week when I was conversing with friends, the clock caught my eye. I entered into a deep gaze which carried me back to the time of my first lesson with my second piano instructor.
My palms sweated, and hives itched on my face and back, and approximately one thousand active butterflies fluttered in my stomach. I was twelve years old and in the eighth grade. Meeting a new person I wasn't sure I was going to like was a very traumatic experience.
My lesson was scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. I recall looking at my watch while I sat in the living room on her lovely pink couch with matching pillows. The short black hand positioned itself a millimeter before the seven while the long black hand sat one minute before the twelve. Then I glanced objectionably at the rose-pigmented second hand. It was aimed at the six and still mobile. Sweat dribbled down the sides of my face as a door down the long corridor opened. I stood up as quickly as a jack rabbit. The dreaded seven o'clock had finally arrived.
I walked into the room expecting to see a Steinway baby grand that I would never have enough talent to play. I also imagined mirrors around the room so I would have to watch myself play as others would see me in a recital. But instead she had an upright Yamaha piano, just like the one I had at home. There were no mirrors either, just many pictures of composers like Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart. This atmosphere made me feel more comfortable.
About ten minutes into the lesson I realized the lesson wasn't unpleasant at all. When I strolled in the room, I expected to see a short, squat lady. She would have large, thick glasses that suspended on her nose, chock-a-block filled with warts. Her plaid wool skirt would hang below her knee with lots of grotesque shades of brown. Then of course, she would have on a dressy blouse that wouldn't match another thing she was wearing. Probably yellow. Her shoes would be black with a small heel and a strap crossing over the top of her foot. They would be austere and Pilgrim-like.
That isn't what I encountered at all. My new piano teacher was about twenty-six years old and had beautiful curly black hair. She was wearing Levi's with a black t-shirt. I was only wearing a pair of jean shorts and a green Champion sweatshirt. I was so glad I wasn't underdressed.
With this situation, I once again had made another mountain of a molehill. I had wasted all that time worrying about the lesson when I could have been practicing. Ninety-nine point nine percent of the time, the things I worry about never come to be. I should never waste time if I want to live my life to its fullest. -
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.