So I just got off the phone with a distraught Sister #3. Her ex is being a total asshole and she doesn’t have any money and well, it’s all the kind of problems that are stereotypical of a single mother. The kind of problems that make me so angry I cry because I don’t even know what to do.
I will never understand the men who do not want to buy things for children, not willing to pony up to make sure they have some new pants for school. Whatever. I can’t get into too much because I don’t want to start crying all over again.
Once I hung up, I immediately dialed up some Billy Joel. It soothes me and reminds me of being a kid, when things were so much simpler.
Of course as soon as I think about Billy Joel, I start thinking about Elton John. Then Ben Folds. Then Rufus Wainwright. It just seems like a natural progression in my head. Then I got to thinking about how I’m generally a sucker for a dude on a piano.
Huh, that’s interesting.
I went back to trying to not be angry with my former brother-in-law, but my brain kept thinking boy with a piano boy with a piano boy with a piano, where did that start?
And then I remembered Joel Cole, the boy who lived next door to my grandparents on Apgar Street. Joel was a talented older kid, a friend of my Aunt Cathy’s (who is only two years older than I am, and obviously lived with my grandparents).
Joel played the piano, and I have a very distinct memory of him busting out Ebony and Ivory on a piano in my grandparents’ garage shortly after my Grandpa Cub had died. In my memory he was trying to distract us from the all the sorrow surrounding the house, the adults. In fact, Sisters #2 & #3 both remember it that way too.
And that, that right there was where my boy with a piano thing started.