Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Fear Monologue

I don't know if anyone else monologues internally or if that is specific to my brand of crazy. I don't mean listening to a stream of internal thoughts... I mean actually composing and memorizing theatrical monologues.

Well, I have one I have been working on for a long time. Some day when I audition for something super dramatic, I will perform it and pretend it is something anonymous I found on the Internet because it is way too dark and personal to admit to writing myself.

It starts like this.

That's what I would say if you asked me what my greatest fear is.  Or maybe "paper cuts on my tongue," because I am irrationally afraid of those, too.  You'd feel satisfied knowing you got an answer, and I would feel safe knowing the real answer had stayed with me...

Good stuff, right?

One of my major fears didn't make the monologue, though.  Not because it's so big I don't like to talk about it. But because it is hard to explain.

I am afraid of falling pianos.

Not like Wylie Coyote, ACME-type falling. Just falling over pianos. But still.

Sometimes it is hard to know if it's still a real fear, because it's not like I am really around that many falling pianos to see if they are still scary.

Well, today I was.  And guess what?

They are.

We had an assembly at school with a former Miss Utah contestant as a guest speaker. She planned to play the piano as part of her performance, so the custodian and a junior high boy lifted the school's digital piano onto the stage.  It didn't tip over. But it was perilously close as the front wheels rose higher than the rear.

I flew out of my seat toward the piano, despite being seated at a distance too far to do any good. I immediately felt foolish, but since others had at least been audibly concerned, my pride was largely intact.

It was during the ensuing moments that I realized how real my fear had been. Once out of danger, others resumed their enjoyment of the program. I heaved heavily, fighting the urge to leave the room to work through the minor panic attack alone.

So how does one acquire a panic inducing fear of pianos?

I don't have any aggregated data to support my theory, but personal experience suggests that having an upright tip over and land on your leg works quite well. 

The full story takes awhile to tell (if you tell stories like I do). Because first you'd have to understand the concept of pizza day at a school without a cafeteria.  Basically, on this one special day, students don't have to brown bag it, and the whole school smells mouthwateringly amazing. On one such pizza day while I was in eighth grade, the unthinkable happened: the pizza was late. Bored and hungry, my friends and I found something to pass the time. Amalie, an amazing pianist, sat down to play. I opted to watch, choosing the small ledge on the soundboard as a stool enabling me to see over the instrument's high back. Erica joined me in spectating but wasn't as fulfilled by watching and listening. She decided to gently rock the piano in time to the music.

Sensing the lack of sense employed in her decision, I suggested she stop. She didn't, and I didn't get down. 
(If I could change one decision...)

Now I have to interject my dad's description of my self preservation skills. 
"She has none."
It's true.  Most people have "fight or flight."  I have a third and fourth possible response, neither of which are particularly useful. I am generally stuck choosing between analysis paralysis (the dangerous state of neither fighting nor flighting), or the Signature Andrea: save the piano.

It probably goes without saying that this was a classic case of "Save the Piano." And the piano didn't get hurt at all when it pinned my knee to the ground.

Somehow I didn't break anything. I have nothing to show for the horrible experience except a thin scar from huge amounts of swelling, a legacy of warning signs on Challenger's pianos (do not move or play this piano without supervision), and a really awkward fear for a pianist.

I guess it's an okay story. But it would make a really weird monologue!

[BTW, you can ask but I probably won't tell. Sorry for being vague!]


Sarah said...

While out piano shopping today (!), my mom began replaying the details of a piano falling over at her school. Immediately thought of you. (just adding to the fact that there are times to have such fears)

Sarah said...
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