Sunday, April 27, 2008

Nothing in Life is Free, Except This Piano

© 2008 Karen Van Fossan

We thought you were giving away your piano. If we were wrong, please let us know! Thanks!!! Signed Karen (first name only) with my number.

I have to admit, Kris and I have unearthed more than our fair share of nifty home furnishings from alleyways, curbs, and even those industrial-style dumpsters. A rattan couch, pap san chair, cat post, monocular, greeting cards, fresh flower bouquets, sturdy Zenith television (with a handy knob to press for a color picture).

But never, ever had I seen such a funky, glittery, Free-Love era, 64-key piano, with plush blue bench. Until last week.

Standing there after dark, at somebody else's curb, tinkering at this sparkling piano, I suddenly heard this voice inside my mind: Art imitates life, it said. And then another voice (which sounded like Woody Allen's) replied (inside my brain): Life imitates art.

Honestly (though I've considered myself an artist for many years) I'd rather aerate the lawn than contemplate this question: Does art imitate life or life imitate art? If I need more to think about, I'll just gaze at my navel.

But now, with this funky piano in my living room, life and art are colliding something fierce. If I'd been asked to write a play about, say, a piano, I'd be thrilled to dream up ideas like these:

1. Have character (Karen) find piano on curb on garbage pick-up day. (Check)

2. Make piano funky beyond compare, with parts covered in vinyl. (Check)

3. For intrigue and suspense, be certain no one is home at piano-house. (Check)

4. Include loving characters with interesting lines. (Check)

For instance...
JULIE after helping haul piano:
Thanks for inviting me to be a part of the fun.
DAN after helping lift piano:
Oh, that's what friends do for each other.

5. Include teasing characters with funny lines. (Check)

For instance...
KRIS after seeing piano on curb:
You don't think it's haunted, do you? What if it starts playing at three a.m.?
CORINNE after hearing news of the piano:
So you put it on your bike and brought it home?
WAYDE after hearing news of the piano:
Oh, good! You found that piano I lost!
MOM after Karen has moaned about not having picture of piano on curb:
You could take it back outside and get a picture. Like a...reenactment...It could be an annual event!

6. To heighten suspense, have Dad issue warning about taking other people's discards. Have Karen return to piano-house and still find no one home. (Check)

7. Send Karen downtown on bicycle, on windiest day of year, to get piano books. (Check)

8. Close on a cliff-hanger. Will Karen ever really learn to play? (Check)


Julie said...

Thank you for starting my Monday off with laughter! I can't wait for the next installment.

zenTourist said...

Truly epic, truly.

Mom said...

Of course Karen will learn to play this piano! She was already a piano wiz at 5 years of age!

Good luck with the new piano, and even though you'll have to pay to get it tuned, you won't be paying any vet bills for it! Love ya! Mom

Karen Van Fossan said...

Aw, shucks... Thanks, Mom!

P.S. The piano tuner (who was trained by a blind man) is here right now! (I got to hear the tuning fork.) He says this type of piano is called a Melody Grand, made for New Yorkers (and such) who move a lot.

Ramona said...

All of the above!

blogslut said...

i almost want to get a van so we can take the little piano wherever we go. the only thing cuter, but not cleaner, is my nose harmonica.

great entry!