I don’t know if I can really do this justice, but I’ll try. Anyway, I had a phone conversation with my mother, Frances, today. After I hung up, I realized it had been over four years since she moved. The conversation went something like this:
Me: How are you?
Frances: Oh, I’m awful. [Insert ten minutes of health complaints here.] And I’m really upset some people stole almost all my musical instruments when I moved. Then, you know what else the doctor said?-
Me: Wait- who stole your musical instruments? What about your musical instruments?
Frances: Oh, you know. I don’t know why, but I had my old piano mover move for me, and he hired all of these guys he didn’t even know! John Chang, he’s an oriental guy, John Chang. I can’t believe he would do that, after thirty or forty years of piano moving. And I didn’t even know it when I hired him, but he was like disabled or something- going around town with handicapped stickers on his van for a knee problem or Alzheimer's or something like that. He used to say, “Oh, stairs. Stairs are nothing to me.” And he couldn’t even get it up the stairs! Stairs used to be nothing to him! After thirty or forty years of experience. And these guys he hired, they didn’t even speak English or something, they were Latino and he couldn’t even talk with them! Like he would say, “Left” and they would drive right. It was ridiculous. You’d think he would know some people, after thirty or forty years in the business. He used to be really good, you know. So they just pushed this piano up the two stairs and they were stuck. It was like three steps and they were stuck. And these people upstairs, these ladies on the third floor were all saying they had to go to the doctor or something, I guess these people on the third floor were sick or something and they didn’t want the piano there on the stairs and the one lady, I guess she was agile, she climbed over the piano. You know, I had to follow the mailman to find him [John Chang]. I had his address, but his phone was disconnected. I guess his parents disconnected the phone because they didn’t want him moving pianos anymore or something because of the knee or the Alzheimer's.
Me: So- wait- what happened to the piano? Do you have it now? Did they ever get it up the stairs?
Frances: No, no. It’s at the dump. It was a good piano. It didn’t deserve that. No, they couldn’t get it up the stairs so it went to the dumps from the lobby- that’s where it was- and they gave me thirty days to get rid of it or move it, but I couldn’t do anything. It was a good piano, you know. It wasn’t in tune. You couldn’t tune it because they said it would break the strings, but it was a good piano. I didn’t play guitar along to it or anything, so it was all right for me. It was in tune to itself, you know.
Me: Oh, right, right. In tune to itself.
Frances: I tried to give it to some cafes, but they didn’t want it so the landlord he took it to the dump. He said it cost him to take it there, too.
Me: So, I actually just got my piano moved over here, today.
Me: I just moved our piano to the farm today from the old house.
Frances: Oh, just today?
Frances: Oh, I’m surprised they let you keep it there that long. It’s been months!
Me: But, we still own the old house in town where it was.
Frances: Still, I’m surprised they let you keep it there that long!