Imagine what a curse this is

Imagine you are on stage at your junior high school, playing the piano. Your parents are in the audience, along with several of their closest friends.  As you play, your father turns to his best friend, a guy who was always like your funniest uncle who is also a guitar player.   Your father says quietly to this guy “it’s a shame she doesn’t have the discipline to ever become a great concert pianist.  We started her too late, that other girl is so much better than her.”

You will of course never hear about this, unless decades later this beloved uncle figure is suddenly rejected by your parents as the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler.  The transformation became necessary after he witnessed embarrassingly human behavior and your parents both felt humiliated by his moral stance.  Uncle Hitler might write something like this, like this thing you’re reading right now:

You were a musical prodigy, my dear, the independence of hands that you had at the age of 6 was as amazing as your ability to play full classical pieces by ear.  Your musical talent was mind blowing, off the charts, phenomenal. But your parents, who, as I only recently learned, are both narcissists and see the world as strict hierarchy, black and white, win or lose, glory or shame, didn’t understand that somebody with your degree of musical talent should be guided by love of music to wherever that talent takes her. 

In their ignorance/arrogance your parents decided they could harness your love of music to instill discipline in you by forcing classical piano lessons on you.  I always gave them the benefit of the doubt on this, neither one realized that the greatest musicians we know often can’t read music.  You know the long list of these Paul Simons, John, Paul and Georges as well as I do.  You hated these lessons, and the straightjacket of classical piano training, although you easily mastered everything they required.  You fought a succession of these overmatched teachers, who were surrogates for your implacable fucking parents who wound up needing to convince you, decades later, that, among other things, your beloved uncle was actually Uncle Hitler. 

I am so sorry to be the bearer of this unbearable, but hopefully helpful news, that your feelings about the unsafeness of the world are based in real experience, and you are not to blame for the hurt you feel. I’m there with you now, in solidarity.

My door is always open to you for any insight a guitar playing mass murderer who has known you since you were born can share. 

Have a nice day, and if you will excuse me now, I have to get back to my unslakable, inchoate rage and ongoing mass murder project.  I’m on a timetable here, dear, and the clock is ticking.

Love always, 

Your Uncle Adolf

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