Baby, Those Days Are Over

March 7, 2012
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I twirl the neck of the bottle of Chardonnay, atop the piano, letting the remains swish around at the bottom. A man looks me in the eyes as if to say say I can’t help you. Well, I can’t help anyone.

I go home broke and lonely, but it’s okay, because I get free drinks, and they listen to me play piano all night. The drunker I get, the louder I play, sometimes they close the bar, and I’m still playing music, the bartender doesn’t mind anymore. If thieves think there’s someone inside, they won’t come in and steal. They don’t know I’m a drunken fool. Another drink, and I might just drop dead.

I used to get paid. I felt like a whore. Making love to the notes for money. It’s not right. And so now, I play for free.

It’s funny how pictures turn around. When I was young I saw myself as a street performer. People would toss dimes at me as I beat away at my keyboard. Then reality hit me, and I found myself in ballrooms, with little vertical pianos, ten bucks an hour, they said, and handed me a book of songs. I hated it. It was the devil’s work.

Now I do everything with a bottle of Chardonnay, at the beautiful grand piano in this little bar. I get no money and need no money.

Sometimes a woman will come up to me, and I’ll ask the bartender for a glass so I can pour her some of the “white wine” from my bottle, later I’ll kiss her hard on the mouth, but I wasn’t built for people. I don’t have it in me to go further anymore, even if I wanted to, and trust me, sometimes I want to. My life is just melody and chords.

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