Thursday, April 9, 2020

Everybody's Changing and I Don't Feel the Same

The dinging of my phone woke me from my only deep sleep I was getting that night. I shifted in bed feeling the pulling ache in my hips. The tightness in my shoulders reminded me of my age and questioning why I thought those acrobatic moves earlier, trying to tighten the lag on the Edison lights from the twelve foot light post in my driveway, were a smart idea.

Who's sending me a text message this late? I thought to myself. If it's after 11 p.m. I automatically shift into mom mode and assume someone must be dead or severely injured. It was my niece Savannah.

Are you guys free to go to home depot around 2 tomorrow?
I am selling my electric piano on let it go and am meeting someone I don't know in public.
Don't want to be alone just in case

Yes, that's fine.

To be honest I was thrilled to have an excuse to escape the Shelter in Place order. I mean I want to be a good citizen and keep COVID-19 at bay but, being forced to stay at home is rough. The weather has been sunny and 80 degrees, meeting Savannah would be the perfect reason to take a joyride in my Mini convertible. What better way to ward off a nasty virus than immune boosting sunlight and fresh air?

The next day I looked at my watch just as we had crossed the third task off our "We've got time now that we're stuck at home" chore list. It was time for me to meet Savannah. I was glad she was being smart and having someone else present for the transaction.

I circled the parking lot twice and didn't see Savannah's blue Nissan, which was really fine because the longer this took the longer my freedom. Then decided I should be a responsible aunt and text her.

Where you at?

Oh I just pulled in to the back of parking lot by car wash. I see you driving towards me... lol.

Savannah had her window down as I pulled in opposite her so our driver's doors were facing each other. "Thanks for meeting me,"
she said.

"No problem. It feels good to be getting out of the house and it is very responsible of you to have someone else here. Are they here yet?"

"No. He said he should be here in a couple of minutes." Within a minute a white Toyota Camry pulled up to us. "Are you Savannah?" the man, probably in his mid-forties shouted out the window at me. I shook my head no and pointed to the left where Savannah was stepping out of her car.

He was buying the piano for his son who was probably fourteen or so. They had brought an extension cord and an adapter that turned the cigarette lighter into an outlet so they could make sure the piano worked. Before we knew it Savannah and John (the dad) had the electric piano set up, they had wiped the whole thing down with Clorox wipes, and the son just sat down and began playing.

I was leaning against the light post, watching this boys fingers move so beautifully across the keys, right here in the middle of a once busy but now that we're on restrictions no so busy parking lot.

"How great is this?" I asked. "That we can't be within six feet of each other because of this crazy virus, but we can stand here in the sunshine and enjoy a lovely concert in the parking lot." The boy laughed and continued to play the Coldplay song he was hammering out.

"You know if you put out a tip jar I bet every person walking into that store would start throwing money at you. You could probably pay for this piano." I smiled and continued to watch him, they way he was so comfortable on the bench, his playing seemingly effortless.

"Do you take any requests?" He laughed again.

"I'm just learning," he said.

"There's a song that came out around the same time Coldplay came out...probably fifteen years ago, by a band named Keane. The song is Everything's Changing and I don't Feel the Same. It's got a real cool piano riff and come to think of it... that might be the most appropriate song amidst all of this COVID craziness."

I'm not really sure if he understood what I was saying. The fact that we're so isolated from each other that the way we connect is by playing an electric piano in a parking lot is... strange. Everything's Changing and I Don't Feel the Same. How appropriate. Everything is changing but some things that don't have to change is our humanness or our need for connection in whatever way we can get it, especially during this stressful time.

So I would like to thank my niece Savannah for getting me out and I would like to thank that young boy for playing such wonderful music in the middle of a parking lot and letting me enjoy something so simple while allowing me to forget, just for a moment, what a crazy world we live in.