Tuesday, March 1, 2005

In the Loupe, Chapter 18

Hey everyone. Frankly, I don’t have much to tell, but I’ve paid for my internet time and I’m determined to use it: you’re getting an update. If you don’t like it, too bad.

Remember Steve and Jeff, the Dominikan guys who were painting my apartment when I moved in? The basketball players? Well, in friendly conversation, I had said that sure, if Steve got a piano I’d give him lessons. Why did I say this? To be nice, to shoot the breeze, because I never thought he’d actually go through with it. I mean, what do I want to teach piano for? I hate teaching piano! Well, guess who bought a keyboard. I’m a sucker piano teacher once again.

Our first lesson was on Monday and was okay, except that their apartment is a sauna – an actual sauna. They wear towels around their necks, which I think makes it pretty clear that they’re sweating too much. It’s time to get a fan, boys. I rubbed ice cubes on the back of my neck for most of the lesson and stared longingly out the window, where I imagined there might be a breeze. (Which is unlikely, actually, as we’re now smack in the dry and BRUTALLY hot season, and if you want a breeze you have to get in a boat and go out to sea, which is just highly impractical.)

What’s fun is that Steve has the big beefy hands of a welder and basketball player, so playing the little kiddie songs with two thumbs on middle C is a bit chaotic. He seems to enjoy it, though, and bobs his head along like he’s listening to Motown; Twinkle Twinkle Little Star has never been so happening.

I don’t care about the lesson so much as the Jeff and Steve show: they live together, work together and play basketball together, yet somehow haven’t strangled each other. Jeff is super tall and has a long face and he’s the worrier. He does the cooking and most of the cleaning and he sat quietly and watched our entire lesson – I could barely stay awake, it was so boring; what was keeping him interested? – nodding in approval when Steve would play well, shaking his head a little when he heard a wrong note. He even offered encouragement when Steve got frustrated, telling him Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was Twinkle Twinkle, which I think is the best pep talk I’ve ever heard.

Steve is the shorter of the two and has a round face, and he giggles a lot and is always munching. He’s easy-going and anytime they have a disagreement he backs right off and lets Jeff have his way. He wears stripy t-shirts and he wants to be a gospel singer.

Are you following? Do you see where I’m going with this? Tall, long-faced and serious? Round-faced, giggly and always eating? They’re the Dominikan Bert and Ernie! It’s a dream come true!

The unfortunate part is predictable enough, as Steve thinks he should show me the light of God. I think that brings the total up to eleven people this year who have fretted over my heathen ways. (It’s time I learned to just lie, lie, lie, get down and pray if I have to, to get these people off my heathen back!) So if I have to haul ass all the way to Rivière des Pères and sit in a sauna for an hour, and THEN be preached to about all the Jesus love I’m missing in my life, this game is over. I’m going to have to lay my cards on the table and see if I still have to teach lessons; maybe having a black and hopeless soul will be my ticket out of teaching piano. It has to serve some purpose, after all.

My time is up, so you’re free to go. I hope all is well with you – heathens notwithstanding.


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