09 April 2008

While my accordion gently weeps

Mike’s death really knocked me down. He has been in bad health for a while, but the news was still stunning. Until this week, I pretty much only came out of my cave to go to work. I spent a lot of time listening to music.

At first, I listened to stuff that Mike liked. He was a concert organist, so he listened to a lot of classical music. He was also a dancing fool, so he loved anything that you would hear in a club. I don’t have much house music or disco, so I listened to a lot of Bach, Beethoven, and Handel.

After a few days of that, I thought I was wallowing, so resolved not to listen to any more Mike music. I tried a little plumb-pitiful "My wife left me. My dog died. Sure am gonna miss that dog" music, but that didn’t help with the wallowing. I switched over to music I knew Mike would hate: country, salsa, metal, reggaeton. But that made me think of all the times we talked about why he didn’t like that crap and I did.

All this time, I was completely paralyzed as a performer. Every time I thought of the accordion, I thought of Mike giving me gas about playing such a lame organ. (Of course, I was able to point out to him the advantages of having an organ that doesn’t use a whole building as a bass resonator.) I cancelled out of all my lessons because I just couldn’t go.

In short, it was a rough time.

Finally, I was listening to salsa and then clicked over to some folky stuff. That started with a rather mumbling vocal and I was straining to figure out the words. I finally realized that the problem was that the words were in English and I was trying to parse it as Spanish. Instead of thinking that I needed to tell Mike about that, I thought of what a laugh he would have gotten out of it and then a good rant about non-English speakers. I knew I had turned a corner when thinking of this didn’t make my brain go blank with pain.

So I hauled myself out to my next scheduled accordion lesson and noticed that the sun still shines. I’m not sure I’d say I’m back, exactly, but I’m not gone anymore, either.


Crashlight from Thanks for Nothing.

No comments: