Solemnly, I walked to the front of the stage, the grand piano. I was wearing my best dress. The bench was too high. My hands poised above the keys like spiders, and they fell into a web of twists and turns. The fingers did what they were supposed to do automatically, as they had a thousand times before. I was pretty good at fast, but bereft of feeling.
When I saw my uncle, he insisted I play for him. Halfway through he’d start a conversation with my parents or tell a joke. Why did he always put me through this just to go off in the middle? I was a dull pianist, that’s why.
I hated piano and begged to quit. I hated the ticking timer set for a half hour, then a whole hour, every day. Because there was no emotion in our house, there was no emotion in my piano. But I refused to show emotion in front of my family as I practiced no matter how many times my teacher wrote with feeling in the margin. So I played faster, and the dull pieces just got longer, and my uncle started in telling about his latest trip to the Mediterranean earlier in my forced recital.
The whispers in the Fibonacci spiral became louder with several voices together chanting, “I’m a horrible piano player. I hate playing piano. I hate playing basketball. I hate going to school. I hate my life.” Look up at the timer. 43 more minutes. 27 more minutes. 12 more minutes. Ding.