However bad you are
Sunday, I talk to my little family back home. Tom & Lisa and baby Phoebe. Heavy rain, so everyone seeking refuge in the common room. A bunch of Korean women cooking up a delicious smelling feast. Most seats taken, so I perch myself on the sofa next to a young guy. He can hear my conversation but it’s the best place to get a decent signal so I babble on regardless. I’m engrossed, watching my little grand daughter, hoping she can see me too, as she squirms and wriggles with delight. Telling Tom and Lisa how I’ve managed to borrow a saxophone and why it’s important to keep playing, keep the embouchure and diaphragmatic breathing strong. How happy I am to be able to play again, though where and how I haven’t yet figured out.
After I hang up, I strike up conversation with the guy on the sofa, not least to apologise that he’s had to listen to all my high squeaky ‘Hello Phoebe, it’s NaiNai’, over and over.
Cody. From LA, a music producer. And he couldn’t help overhearing my conversation and tells me that he majored in saxophone at university. A semi professional classical saxophonist. On the sofa next to me in HK. But he’s stopped playing, no chance of getting a job, felt under pressure, stopped enjoying it. He shows me a video of him playing when he was young, and it makes me want to weep. Such talent, not being used. And me with very little talent, desperate to play every day, loving every minute.
Today I’ve rigged up a practice area. The dorm is empty and I play some blues and Christmas carols. Nobody bangs on the door to complain. And I know for sure I’d rather have little skill and be using it, than lots of skill and not. I hope Cody plays again. Criminal not to. Listen and see. One day I’ll be brave enough to post a YouTube of me. Perhaps.