In the spirit of the piano man (who gets a nickname not just because I think it’s the fair thing to do when I am writing about people who don’t have the opportunity to defend themselves, but because I honestly couldn’t have told you his name 15 seconds after he walked off) I will be including a ridiculous amount of music terminology, most of which will be grossly misused.
When piano man sat down I was feeling fairly at ease (Adagio). However he immediately began speaking as loud as possible (fortississimo), shouting at me across the 36 inches that separated us. Perhaps playing piano had caused him to suffer a bit of hearing loss.
“HAVE YOU DONE THIS BEFORE!?!”
“I PLAY THE PIANO! I TEACH PIANO! I APPLIED FOR JOBS TEACHING PIANO AT JUNIOR COLLEGES ALL OVER THE WORLD! WELL NOT ALL OVER THE WORLD! JUST ALL OVER THE US! SOUTH DAKOTA, MISSISSIPPI, CALIFORNIA, MONTANA, CONNECTICUT, ARKANSAS, GEORGIA, NORTH DAKOTA, OHIO, NEW HAMPSHIRE, NEW MEXICO, DELAWARE, NEW YORK, MAINE, OKALHOMA, NORTH CAROLINA, OREGON, MARYLAND, IDAHO, VERMONT, KANSAS, ALABAMA, INDIANA, LOUISIANA, MINNESOTA, NEVADA, WYOMING, ALASKA, RHODE ISLAND, COLORADO, MISSOURI, NEBRASKA, MASSACHUSETTS, WISCONSIN, IOWA, ARIZONA, FLORIDA, VIRGINIA, ILLINOIS, KENTUCKY, HAWAII, NEW JERSEY, WASHINGTON, MICHIGAN, PENNSYLVANIA, TEXAS, SOUTH CAROLINA, TENNESSEE, UTAH, WEST VIRGINIA… DID I MENTION CONNECTICUT!?! HAVE YOU DONE THIS BEFORE!?!”
Having been asked twice (bis) makes me a little irritated, but the way he is clasping his hands into a piano fingered, white knuckled mess makes me fear that perhaps he will lunge across the table and strangle me should I mention his mistake.
This 4 minute conversation was intended to for two voices (a due) but I am feeling so anguished (affanato) that all I can do is sit with closed mouth (bocca chiusa). He seems very agitated (agitato) as he spits the details of his life at me. In an almost warlike, aggressive (bellicoso) way, he asks, “DO YOU GO TO CHURCH!?! EVERY SUNDAY!?! WHERE!?! SO YOU READ THE BIBLE!?! HOW OFTEN!?! HOW WERE YOU RAISED!?!” As he asks he gets faster and louder (incalzando). I answer his questions half softly (mezzo piano).
At first sight (a prima vista) I didn’t expect such an attack without a gap or pause (attacca). But for four minutes I felt like I was dying away (espirando).
I would say it is fairly evident why I have blocked his real name from my mind. Clearly he was a sociopath.