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We've Got Each Other's Bach's
7:30 and the obscene sound of bells woke me up from my top bunk in Room 22. I sat up, stared at my disgusting pair of duck themed pajama pants, let out a groan and grudgingly got out of bed. After folding my comforter to the side, I snuck out my phone, looked around for the old Crone that ruled 5 Catamount Lane and texted a noisy “U UP YET?!?!” to the boy next door.
Within seconds, I received a grumpy, “I ammmmm. F*** offfffff.”
I slipped my iPhone touch back into my pajama pocket and opened my room door to go downstairs. Instantly, I jumped as the strong and skinny kid with the shaggy bed head tried to tackle me. Used to it, I slide forward smoothly as he falls to his knees. I turned around and shouted, “Avery you dick!”
He got up and laughed it off. “Nice pants.” He said jokingly. We both walked downstairs to the back yard as I slapped him across the back of the head. Today was the day of our final concert and what we were planning to do was going to be epic; absolutely legendary; we were a duo that would be talked about for generations to come at this historic house.
Avery and I sat on the benches, waiting for our turn to make history. With our last practice, we felt unstoppable. We were Hawkeye and Black Widow, we were Forrest and Jenny, we were Peeta and Katniss, but if he ever tried to kiss me I’d backfist him in the ear. As a seven year old clunked away to Beethoven, our legs became restless and we bounced up and down in our seat. People stared at us oddly, like we were businessmen on the Subway, but we didn’t give a s***. This was going in the camp brochure permanently, and there’s no higher level of honor you can get when your picture goes in there.
The moment the kid before us played her last note, we clapped ingenuinely and abruptly and walked up to the pianos. Before sitting down at our separate benches, we glanced at each other and nodded, knowing that the audience would never know what had hit them. Like we were telepathically in tune with one another, we paused for several seconds. When we both felt ready, I raised my hand up to the audience. We inhaled at the same time, glanced at each other once more, and I nodded I was ready. With a swift count to four on my hand, we started, and immediately had them wanting more.
Synchronized Piano. It had never been done before. Sure, it had as much purpose to it as synchronized running or octuples tennis, but it was still noteworthy. With the fast-paced Prelude kicking off perfectly, we breezed through the 16th notes and rested our tired fingers as we came to our first obstacle. A series of chords and runs that only with spot on accurate timing could have it sound like one person was playing it.
First chord, done: We glanced up from the pianos and started our downfall to the bottom of the phrase.
To the second chord, and we synced up, ready for the final run to the pit stop: Our fingers flew rapidly to the end, briefly stopping for a less important chord and we dashed to the finishing note. With Tower 1 behind us, we paused for a second to let our fingers catch their breath as we ventured on the thin line to Tower 2, an endless fall to disaster even with the slightest slip.
When we both felt ready, we nodded and started down the track heading toward a potential train wreck, but we both hoped that with the practice we had done, our fingers would be able to avoid the sticks and stones that lay on the path in front of us. Fugues were the salt in a piano player’s wound. With the repeating themes coming back to haunt you in the different voices you need to emphasize, technically, your fingers are bound to trip over the complicated but simply structured twists and turns Bach ingeniously placed before you.
The first voice had come and gone and as our right hands moved onto the second theme, the left hand entered with the original theme. We gazed across the pianos, knowing that the toughest and longest stretch was almost upon us.
Bracing ourselves, our left hands dove into the bass clef, singing the Tenor line while our right hands concurrently sang the Soprano and Alto. We cautiously trekked on as our fingers continued to play every necessary note, three quarters done and still no on-the-side flotsam had corrupted our piece.
Our confidence got the best of us as unexpectedly, Avery’s fingers derailed and suddenly stopped playing. Noticing our first mishap, and the panic in his eyes, I glanced at him, knowing he’d understand what I meant. “Just wait until the end of the phrase.” When my right hand solo’d for a brief matter of seconds, I motioned a subtle 64 with my hands. He nodded and came in perfectly. Our train had been averted from wreckage and like Agent Maxwell Smart, we had missed it by that much.
To the end of the piece, knowing we had gotten over an unnoticeable error, our confidence was boosted back up as we finished strong and to a complete and total uproar of applause. We glanced at each other and both could tell by the expression on our faces that we had done it. We played one piece and sounded like one piano, and we both knew that only people with a bond like ours could pull off what we had just done. We didn’t care if we were Bieber’ed into stardom or not. because we knew that like Hawk Eye and Black Widow, Forrest and Jenny, and Peeta and Katniss, no Robot Lizard from outer space, crap childhood, or sick society could break us.