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url.jpgOn the other side of the telephone line, there is a woman who plays the piano. She only performs twelve seconds of Chopin’s “Fantaisie-Impromptu.” Every now and then, she pauses and leans into the single microphone: “I am afraid that all the operators are busy at the moment. Please hold.” She starts to play again. Someday, she wants to keep going after the twelve-second mark and finish the piece. Someday, she wants to perform the whole piece; actually, instead, her own original sonata, in front of a concert hall full of people, so full, the ticket-punchers have to turn people away at the door, and the people still stand outside on the street because they’d rather hope for an opening than do anything else. The audience would not be applauding or cheering; they would be sitting quietly with their eyes glued on her, too full of her sound to make any sound of their own. Lights, and stairs, and more than one microphone. But for now, she has to settle for an audience of one, who is not here for her music (the music she plays, which is not her own), one who has been grumbling in frustration for the past forty-two minutes. “Please hold,” she says. She wants to lean into the microphone to apologize, but maybe, she’s not really sorry. At least someone is finally listening to her play.

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