The Piano

Photo by Matthew T Rader from Pexels

So I’m dreaming about San Francisco, of all places. Except it’s not really San Francisco. It’s way too small and the streets are barely wide enough for the wheelchair-bound individual I’m attending. She’s a nice, older woman who mostly keeps to herself. I’m not sure how we met, but I’m giving her a tour of the city. We get to the top of one hill and go exploring. It’s a real Alice In Wonderland kind of experience. But after a while, she’s had enough, and wants to be back with her friends. So I gently guide her down a small alley only to be met by a brick wall. We backtrack and try another alley; same result. Finally, we come to a slightly wider street and zoom down at a speed that is only slightly irresponsible, considering my geriatric charge. Her friends are waiting for her at the bottom of the hill. Our arrival is met with smiles and a “thank you”. Before I have a chance to reply, something strange grabs my attention from the corner of eye.

To my right, is a tableau that could only make sense in a Tom and Jerry cartoon. On the ground, there is an ordinary mouse that is unusually quiescent. Above him, several feet off the ground, is a grand piano, suspended by ropes. Someone, unseen, is snickering with an evil laugh. Even in a dream state, I know this is plainly ridiculous. So I find myself saying out loud, naturally, “Oh this is just ridiculous! Come on!” At that moment, the ropes are cut, the piano starts to fall, the mouse jets out of site (leaving behind a sonic boom), and the piano, finally making contact with terra firma, shatters, ungraciously. Only, this is no ordinary piano. No, no, no. It’s a player piano, and it begins playing the most atonal, ungodly, cartoonish, demented polyphonic mess of a song ever to torment the ears of mortals since time was invented. I can’t help myself but giggle, at first. And then, the giggle turns into a stomach-wrenching laugh.

I then woke up, still laughing!

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