Saturday, November 18, 2006

A Poet Practices Her Scales

Odessa lives alone in an unfurnished triple loft, nine bedroom apartment on Central Park West. It is a baffling living space with frescoed celings and spiraling staircases that lead to nowhere. She inherited the apartment from her father who was Attorney General turned celebrity politician. No way could she ever afford this place on a poet's incomelessness. (Please note, dear reader, this makes our Odessa ten times more fortunate than those Paul Auster characters who happen to find loads of money where they would least expect it. These days, nine chances out of ten, ask a New Yorker if he'd rather inherit cold cash or a rent-free living quarters forever and you can bet he'll chose the latter...)

So Odessa is, hands down, one of the lucky ones. She inherited the empty apartment--sleeps on a cushion of years-old copies of the New York Times--and works tirelessly on her laptop, pounding out words she regards as The Classics.

Her neighbor is a universally renown concert pianist named MorZat (a character who is kind of a combination of Mozart and Borat). Anyway, this chacracter practices the piano CONSTANTLY. Odessa often wonders if he doesn't have more than ten fingers on each hand; he can play so many notes in one instant. Perhaps he's even using his toes as well. (Cheater--Odessa might be thinking.)

Odessa would be lying if she said that his beautiful music didn't influence her writing. In fact, his Broadwood "Bareless" Upright piano is pushed up against the opposite side of the wall where Odessa works on a folding card table, opening her Mac OS X PowerPC G4 Version 10.3.9 lap top to the wall that trembles with MorZat's renditions of compositions by Hadyn, Dussek, Beethoven, Chopin, and Liszt. Atmosphere influences Odessa's own compositions while she practices writing.

This morning MorZat was playing scales, and here is what Odessa wrote:

In the Key of F

Frail nations
Go to war
B (flat)
Funny men are extinct.

Odessa feels mortified if MorZat should ever overhear her striking a wrong note. Once, when he told her that she was out of tune, she just said, "Well, I'm not ready for Carnegie Hall yet." She turned up her pretty nose and walked away. So there.

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