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Saw some Hindemith and Schumann and Beethoven last night. Just like all the articles say, everyone there was old. They were all VERY excited to see Andre Watts, whose physicality was really surprising to me. He plays with a hunched, powerful, workmanlike attitude, but then his giant fingers coax the gentlest sounds from yon keyboard. He wore a blue tuxedo with the longest tails I have ever seen, and he stomped his feet during the third movement like a cartoon of a crazy piano virtuoso. He also has a lot of hand flair, like when he reaches the end of a triumphant passage he whips his hands off the keyboard in a kind of “WHAT!” gesture.
Afterward, I told my companion about the documentary about the Van Cliburn competition in Ft. Worth, where all the nice Texan host families are, like, teaching the piano prodigy from war-torn Croatia about fajitas. What a weird world.
My dad had given me a bust of Beethoven, which I was showing to my companion before the Hindemith started. The old lady next to me found this delightful, and kept jokingly asking me “So I’ll be seeing you at the Ninth, I take it,” meaning Beethoven’s 9th symphony, which is being performed in a couple of months. I was like “I don’t know, maybe.” It’s funny to think of being a Beethoven fan and just very specifically liking the 9th. I guess that is probably most people’s experience.
Don’t get me wrong, the 9th is amazing. But at this point I’d be just as excited to see a late quartet, or one of the early quartets that sounds just like Haydn, or even Wellington’s Victory, one of the worst pieces of music ever created.
A mouse keeps popping out from under the stove and then running back when he sees us. I have such a conflicted feeling about this. On the one hand, he’s not bothering me, and I wish him no harm so long as he’s not, like, crawling down into my olive oil bottle and dying in there (true story) or running across my face at night. On the other hand, where there’s one mouse, aren’t there automatically like a thousand? Is there a whole warren of them back behind the stove, and one day they will come swarming out like in some sort of cinematic nightmare scenario or that one Stephen King short story? On the other hand, the idea of setting a mouse trap is repugnant to me, in every way, and I won’t do it. On the other hand, the idea of setting one of those cruelty-free traps, and catching him, and then releasing him into the freezing natural world, seems both elaborate and probably ultimately just as cruel. On the one hand I am lazy and prefer to practice a “you stay mostly out of sight; I stay mostly unbothered” school of mouse maintenance. On the other hand I don’t want to get the Hanta virus or find mouse poop in my jar of rice. I wish he’d just have the brains to stay hidden until no one is home, instead of popping out and looking at me while I’m trying to read a book in my own damn living room.
He’s a very fine looking sort of fellow. Brown and strong and with those big wet mouse eyes. I have always liked the look of a mouse. I grew up in a house infested with mice and am pretty much not that uptight about it; I’m very used to waking up to weird noises, turning on the light, seeing a guy jump out of the wastebasket and run behind the dresser, and just being like “oh thank god, I thought it was a ghost” and going back to sleep.
What should I do????? This is why people have cats, damn it. The snoopy could not give a shit. He doesn’t even hear the mouse when it comes out and says hello! And he could never catch him even if he did. He’s not canny like a cat. Maybe I should borrow a cat like in that Juliette Binoche movie.
WHAT A PREDICAMENT