My beautiful digital piano finally went on the fritz this week the very day I had begun teaching my daughter how to play it!
My initial thought was, “No this can’t be true. There must be a way to reverse this happening!”
Guess what? There wasn’t.
A very knowledgeable technician kindly and gently broke the news to me: the piano had survived much longer than it was supposed to, a kind of miracle.
As I processed the loss, I was soothed by his words, but regretted that I had not started piano lessons earlier with my daughter.
At least she learned how to play the C major scale!
Earlier this week I wrote a new poem that had been in my head for nearly a month, waiting to finally come out.
Unusual for me, when it did, I took it through two major and seven minor drafts. I let the poem rest for a day, then decided it was one of the best I had ever written.
Before I thought too hard, I submitted it to a major magazine.
I’m glad I didn’t wait. I might have had regrets.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about my two best friends in college. Ron and I played on the tennis team together. I think we probably both knew we were gay, but in our day it was difficult to admit that. Even without coming out to each other, though, we spent many hours as friends off the court. We celebrated after our wins and sometimes cried gently together after our losses, be the victories or defeats related to tennis or some other part of life.
I graduated early from college, eager to explore the world. I wish I had stayed in touch with Ron, and with the pandemic making me more reflective, I’ve wondered what his life is like now.
My other best friend, Christopher, texted me this week. Soon after I called him. It had been years since we had spoken, but I did not wish to regret not taking the opportunity to catch up. We promised not to wait too long before calling each other the next time.
After Christopher and I spoke, I received a message from a gentleman who was a kind, caring, fun, smart, inspiring friend in the part of my life history after college, my divorce from my wife, my floundering for a long time trying to find a man with whom I could start a family. Scott encouraged me every step of the way. Like Ron, he was always available when I stumbled. Like Christopher, he helped me laugh and not take myself too seriously.
I wish I had been a better friend in return. I have lived with that regret for a long time. I finally wrote Scott and apologized, but it had taken me 12 years to do so.
Fortunately, he accepted my apology. I felt relief and excitement, hope that maybe after all I could resume a part of my life that I had missed.
I’ve started taking bassoon lessons again. I’m trying to be a better husband to the man I’ve been with for 19 years, a more generous father to our glorious daughter, a more giving friend, a writer who takes more risks without regrets.
I am grateful to my family and friends for their patience and not giving out on me like my piano finally did, that I still am excited when a poem can no longer wait to be written, to be able to finish another marathon before my legs go on the fritz, for having a great job, and to be mindful of savoring each new day even during this horrible pandemic.