Archive for March 10th, 2013


I played a lot of piano today: started after I woke up, took the kids for their haircut then lunch then returning to the piano, baking a batch of chocolate orange cupcakes before dinner.

I lived backwards, surreally, reading old pieces and going over the bits and bobs of my life when I first set eyes on the particular piece, the clothes I wore, the things I said, the people I was with no more.

Then it started to storm.

I looked out onto my balcony at my dismal bean sprout tray, abandoned due to my self imposed fasting for Lent. The rain poured and poured. My kitchen timer went off. I got up and pulled out the last tray of seven cupcakes from the oven. Seven. One of them sits out of the muffin tray in a metal cup, a completely different shape and size. The one made from leftover batter, like leftover memories, all awkward and awry. I wished I could stuff it all into a cup, bake it, eat it, remove it from existence.

Wouldn’t life be nice if it all fitted nicely into Ikea compartments, stowed neatly away in boxes?

I sighed, recalling how earlier on while I was trying to extricate my muffin moulds from a cupboard,  a bottle of gelatin fell out into my cake batter.

Maybe I’ve just never been very good with real life. Like most musicians, real life is just something that happens between the music, when a piece ends and another begins, when you stop to go to the toilet or get a drink.

Maybe that’s why I’m so good at my job. I hop from one problem to another with great intensity and imagine my real life problems as small as possible to fit into the in-between.

I put away my aged scores and closed my keyboard then went upstairs to check on the kids. Peanut sat on the bed reading to herself while Lion hunched over the lion who teachers him about colours and letters with an electronic roar. He looked up and grinned at me, then tried to drag the lion over by its string like a puppy. I sat down, then got into position and stood on my head. Peanut and Lion clapped and laughed.

When the rain lightened to a drizzle, we headed over to Mother-in-Law’s place for dinner, where I mysteriously,  quietly passed out on the couch from the day’s exertions into a dark and dreamless sleep filled occasionally with the pressure of Lion trying to sit on me. I woke up in time to say goodbye and headed home.

Life will happen in spite of the music, in a very Chekhovian fashion, with all its attendant complications.

There will always be that leftover cupcake or that mishappened cookie at the end of every batch. Eat it, and appreciate it for what it’s worth. Ultimately,  the same amount of effort goes into every success as every fuck-up.

And screw the Ikea boxes. They’re currently lying around on the ground with their covers missing and their contents strewn over the toy chest.

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