It was the classic struggle of man vs. piano. To be particular, Jerry Dootie was a back end octogenarian, an accomplished pianist, and most worth noting, on the verge of death.
The piano was twice Jerry’s age; it served in the Civil War. It is rumored that Abraham Lincoln attempted to play “Dixie” on the piano. It was horrendous. Not once did anyone bother to consider that Lincoln was musically inept. He was. The piano was blamed, and immediately placed into storage.
In a sense, it is like the famous American novelist who blamed the paper for the tripe he was writing. By the way, his name rhymed with Brett Eliot Easton.
While in storage, the upright piano contracted the equivalence of AIDS, termites. They destroyed the piano’s immune system while devastating its structural integrity.
The wobbly bench creaked before Jerry even sat down. Instinctively, Jerry shooed away the space beneath his ass, as if he were wearing a long tailed jacket. Actually, he wore baggy pants and a loose t-shirt, which once was snug. That was 20 years ago, minus the pit stains. He cracked his knuckles. It was painful. He took a deep breath and began to play Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2.
He played through the first passage and wept uncontrollably. It had been far too long since he enjoyed the pleasure of making such joyful noise. He was wracked with guilt for depriving the world, and more importantly, himself of his musical gift.
Meanwhile, the piano was going through a different process. Each note played vibrated its weakened frame, until it just couldn’t take it any more. It somehow collapsed and exploded at the same time.
At long last, man was victorious, but only for two minutes. At least, Jerry died with a smile on his face.