It's time for a wordzzle, curtesy of Raven's Nest
Words to include: Sober, knight, peak, blueberries, owl, drugstore, lampshade, keyboard, economy, ladder, Micheal Jackson, spoilage
The Hands Remember
Miss Krupskaya, alone in her sober black dress, sits down at the piano. The daylight is fading but that does not matter as her sight is going anyway. A single naked lightbulb dangles from the ceiling of her one-room apartment. She has removed the lampshade to get more light, but the growing darkness cannot be held back by mere electricity, tungsten and glass.
Downstairs, Mr Zimmerman the drugstore owner, is selling a face-cream enriched with blueberries to an owl-faced woman. The economy may be bad, but there's always money for face-cream it seems.
Miss Krupskaya's fingers rest lightly on the keyboard and instinctively find their proper place. For a moment, she remembers the old days, the crowds, the flowers, the whirlwind concert tours. How she had scrambled up the ladder of fame and fortune! At her peak, she had commanded five-figure fees, had been courted by film-stars, oil magnates and at least one knight of the realm. Oh well, you know what they say: laugh and the world laughs with you, but it's the second half of that saying that bites. As time went on, the bookings became fewer, the phone rang less often, the gentlemen's attentions went elsewhere. She slipped imperceptibly into the persona on the discreet brass plaque beside the door to Zimmerman's: Miss Ylena Krupskaya. Piano Tutor. The last pupil had departed years since.
Downstairs, a kid whistling a Michael Jackson tune comes into the drugstore and asks if there's anything going cheap. Mr Zimmerman mutely points to a shelf of goods Reduced to Clear because of spoilage.
Miss Krupskaya's old eyes can no longer follow the neat structure of printed music but that doesn't matter. Her fingers begin to dance over the yellow ivory. E, E flat, E, E flat, the opening notes of Fur Elise float up into the evening air. The hands remember, as she used to tell her pupils. The hands remember.
Downstairs, Mr Zimmerman and the Reduced to Clear kid look up as the music floats down to them. Zimmerman's lined face crinkles in a smile: Miss K plays at this time every day and he looks forward to it. The kid, never having troubled to become acquainted with music older than himself, looks baffled, without a clue.
Upstairs, Miss Krupskaya is once again playing at Carnegie hall.