Calum McSwiggan

My Old Piano

In Eat, Love on May 21, 2012 at 9:50 am

Man at piano

Love is called my old piano. I have a ball with my old piano’

– Diana Ross

On my eighteenth birthday a twenty-two year old man hit on me in the local gay club, offering to buy me a bottle of champagne to celebrate- I was so off-put by his age that I declined his drink offer and minced off to bitch about the old weirdo at the bar. Gay men very much seem to adopt the live fast, die young mantra, and at the young age of twenty-two I feel like I’m about to go through the gay man’s midlife crisis.

I once read about a girl who quit her job, abandoned all her furniture and possessions, and just got up and left her life behind- Crazy bitch, I thought at the time, but now that I find myself in the exact same position, it doesn’t seem that crazy at all. It seems just the opposite; it seems rational, reasonable, logical.

Although this is everything I want, and everything I need, it makes me sad to leave behind all the things that I have lived and breathed for the past four years. Every piece of furniture and every inanimate object holds another story; I could sit for hours telling you anecdotes about my shower curtain or my toaster, but it is my piano that holds the real secrets and memories.

On my twelfth birthday I dashed into my parent’s room to find that they had gotten me exactly what I wanted, a brand new shiny electronic keyboard- now, exactly ten years later, that same keyboard sits by my bedroom window, damaged and worthless, waiting to be left-behind.

Over the years the keyboard has been the one constant thing in my life, no matter what new changes life has brought me, my keyboard has always been there. When friends came over it was there waiting to play their favourite songs, when terrible things happened it was there waiting to catch the tears, and when hot boys were invited over, it was always there waiting to seduce them- this is totally what happens.

It’s sang everything from Mozart to Kylie, from Bohemian Rhapsody to Clair De Lune, from Rammstein to Lana Del Rey. It’s performed on the back of lorries and in dusty old function rooms, it’s listened to duets and saxophone solos, it’s taught me to love music, and it’s watched me grow up.

It’s been a faithful companion these past ten years but, like with all relationships, there comes a point when it’s time to move on. In just a few days I’ll be leaving it, and the rest of my life, behind to start anew- it’s a scary but exhilarating thought.

Perhaps I’ll get a new piano one day, perhaps a baby grand that I can lay on top of, perhaps it’ll be doubly able to trick boys into bed, and perhaps it’ll deliver more memories than the last.

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