Oh, the Ivory


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Is it weird?

Is it weird that it beckons to me? Its black, glossy surfaces, chiseled in all the right places just makes my heart skip a beat. As I draw nearer, I already hear the echoes of melodies saturated in the richness and warmth and vibrancy that only Steinway can deliver. Oh, Steinway, your sweet, musky scent invites my fingers to dance with your ivorys. Nothing says beautiful, steamy romance like a pianist and a Steinway grand piano, alone in a room.

Nope, it's not weird.

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Chapter 1

I saw Aunt Averie at the airport waiting for me. I was so excited to see her! I've stayed with her countless times in the past during summers where my parents had business vacations and meetings and things of that nature. Now, I'll be living with her in Tampa as I attend University of South Florida! Uncle Dale, Aunt Averie's husband, owns a spoken word café called LavaLamp Café. That's why he wasn't able to greet me at the airport. It's okay, because I'm going to work there next week.

When we reached Aunty Av's house, I went to my usual room and unpacked. I've been here so often that it's been decorated by me over the years. One wall has pictures of my family travels. One wall has a blown up poster of Niagra Falls, taken by a cousin of mine who was a photographer. The other walls were bare, revealing their lovely peach color.

Although my immediate family generates more money in the bank than aunt and uncle Copper, none of the two families are very financially wealthy. However, both families are great money managers, and we live quite nicely. The Copper's house is small, but big enough for family reunions and small parties. It is cozy and comfortable, giving an aura of warmth and love. The family room has a fireplace and an Apple TV.  The couch has a pull-out bed, and there are pull-out beds in the walls. The backyard is spacious enough with a treehouse, a garden, and a gazebo. The basement is fun; it has a trampoline, a ball pit, an air hockey machine, and all sorts of sports and exercise equipment. The attic is more artsy and has an eisel with paint buckets and paintbrushes surrounding it. The front wall is actually a big window where you can see the world before you. It's a beautiful view.

I just finish unpacking when Uncle Dale enters the house and announces with his booming, jolly voice, "I'm home!" I run to him and jump into his open arms. He flings me across his back and spins around until we're both dizzy. It's what we do.

When he finally puts me down, he pulls out a T-shirt with the "LavaLamp Café" logo on it from a big bag. It looks my size.

"I already went out and got you a shirt" he says confidently, "because I already know you'll be a good fit for the café. Welcome in advance!"

Needless to say, that was one of my best nights.

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Chapter 2

I think I'm a great person; I'm just not always brave enough to let people see that great person that I am. Why? I don't know. 

You know who I'll never have to worry about being myself with? Steinway. Well, any piano really, but Steinway just brings out the best in me.

I was social enough as a child. I've had my fair share of recess here and there. As I got older though, I found myself retreating from the public eye and in front of those blessed ivory keys. To this day, whenever it's just me, a piano, and an empty room, I just can't resist.

In high school, I had enough friends. When I was feeling wild, I was pretty wild. Other than that, I spent my spare time writing songs or playing the piano. Songwriting, or art in general, is a means of catching one's thoughts and feelings and putting them on display so that one can catch a glimpse of his or her own soul. I guess you can say I kind of like what I see, though I sometimes think to myself that my life could use some decorating. Yeah, I could use a little more living in my life.

That's part of why I am here in college in Florida. I need a new start! A gust of wind beneath my wings! With this new start, I hereby search diligently for just a touch of familiarality: in other words, an empty room with a piano (preferably Steinway).

I can quit whenever I want.

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