We spoke about it intermittently, about how after next June my life splits into a dizzying kaleidoscope of shape and color, with each alternate option representing it’s own crystallized shard of possibility. There are very few common themes between them, save for music, which i refuse to give up after it took me this long to acquire it.
Turning off of Wall Street, Rabi said, “Well, at least yours aren’t entirely fantastical,” which struck me as ironic, because the image of me – emancipated from family and school … having a real life – is fantastical in and of itself. She was apparently comparing my options to her favorite from this Spring, which was to be a rag picker in 17th century France.
“At least yours,” she remarked, “do not require time travel.”
Implicitly they do, though, because i can never make a decision without a chance for a second guess. The second chance is always best, but we choose the first, so we’re fucked. I sang the line so convincingly the next morning, walking down a Brooklyn street strumming my guitar, that she giggled amidst the little old ladies and all the men with their yamacas. I laughed to, and the next line was lost on me for a moment, And we assume the worst and hope the best, but it always turns out in the end, but i think if i could keep it in mind this would all be a lot easier.
The Waverly was too perfect to end the day, Rabi and Hillary and i singing “Frank Mills” under our breaths the whole way there, then sipping too-sweet sangria and watching me eat my incongruous bacon veggieburger. I turned to Rabi with a mischeivous glance at some point before 2am, grinning. “So, we’re finally having our drink.”
Central Park was all about acting, or lying, or maybe how i always thought i’d be a good actor just by lying, but really that it’s more about telling the truth. I’m not sure that i’m good enough at either anymore. The impromptu jazz band that greeted us on Park West seemed to be playing an improvisational version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” sloppy but with a sort of irrepresible joy hidden underneath. They were definitely telling the truth
I wondered out loud at the lack of buskers as she bounced down the stairs to another muggy MTA platform, but we found them as soon as we came up nearer to the Village — like South Street with all manner of sundry cute little shops amended to its edges in a snowflake cutout of hip. I ogled ties, aprons, and chess pieces, but the wood shop was my favorite, with its weathered dark wood (oak?) piano just inside the stoop for $750 dollars.
Slipping my fingers beneath the lid to tickle the keys, i was surprised at the tuneful noise that emerged from the antique. “I could buy that.” I turned back to Rabi. “That’s an amount of money that i could spend on a piano.”
It was then that i found a new tiny pearl of resolve. That, barring circumstances that involving a passport or a raft, a piano would be chief amongst my post-graduation plans. A sort of anchor to my future, a small point on which i can focus while the bigger ones are too blurred to make out.
Although i was sure before, now i am convinced that i could never live in New York, no matter how cute their hardwood floor and yellow walls are. Last night Elise earnestly reminded me of the yearly Baldwin Piano sale in the theatre. Maybe i should take a look? But, no, i laughed, because you pick up one thing and the next comes right to you, no matter if you took the first or second chance.
That is why it always turns out in the end.