4 thoughts on “Face the Music

  1. oy vey! Makes me wonder how this happened? did he get sick of her constant playing and did he heave the piano out the door?

  2. I would say ‘She’. It is the piano that she taught her children with and kept it around for sentimental reasons. The kid’s names can still be seen scratched into front shoulder of the piano. The farewell message was written in white with blue outline, so it wasn’t a spur of the moment script. She may have cats, but not a dog. The door to the right suggest a make shift pet door and the tree shows wear of cat scratching. I discount the dog possibility due to no treasures in the grass and the grass around the tree isn’t receding from frequent ‘watering’. Christmas lights still hang around the windows with season decorations still on display inside. She spends a lot of time in her garden and most likely talks to the white gargoyle from time to time. Two pictures face out so she can see them from the garden. One being a cirque face painting, and another a man or woman in suspenders; maybe from a magazine. There is also a lot of plastic sheeting around the windows most likely used as cheap weather proofing. The red, white, and blue decorations could be for the 4th of July, or local celebration but I suspect it has been out for a long time. It is odd that all of the black keys have had their enamel removed. Perhaps she plans on using them in a future craft project that will never come. The real mystery is what does the second message say? It may be the same message seeing that it appears to also being with a cursive ‘I’. Do you see it? I am curious as to what caused all the water damage. I’m sure there is a story there as well.

    • Nice detective work! I’ll add a couple of things. The woman–and it has to be a woman, because what man would write that neatly in cursive?–is in her early sixties. The use of that kind of careful cursive would not be found in a younger person. This is a person who is used to writing letters, not emails or text messages. The kids are grown up, but you can still see the hole in the front yard where the tetherball pole was planted. Her husband has long fled, but she got the house. Next door, the brick building, is a bar where you can hear various musicians play, as you can throughout Woodstock. She’s heard the music waft in her windows often. When it gets lonely, maybe she goes over there, has a few drinks, and takes some transient young guitar shitkicker home. She lets him stay for a month or three. He plays her Hank Williams songs on her father’s beat up piano that she took lessons on as a child. One Fourth of July, the Fourth that he insisted on pulling out the old bunting and hanging it, she comes home and he’s in her bed with a girl in red, white, and blue spangly underwear. She takes the ax on the wall meant for fires that she bought in an antique shop and goes after them.

      The next morning, exhausted, she goes to her wallet and realizes he has taken her credit card. She slashes at the piano, but gives up. The thing is sturdier than she thought. A year later, Lou, the guy who runs the house renovation service and has been living with her for the past nine months, decides he has had enough of looking at the broken piano in the middle of the living room. He drags it out to the front lawn, but not before she can write her farewells.

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