Routine becomes seeing the same old faces plastered upon the same old bodies going back and forth to take their place at the same old locations doing pretty much the same old thing. Some cradle the holy artifact of their phones to try to re-imagine the all encompassing decorative space that serves as stage to this faux sense of reasonable rationality. Most sit somber faced in the regularity of measured conversations. “Otra vez una algo Hispana mirar.” “Yo soy una bruta!” No more fidgety Hebrews or overly bulky crippled Asians to cramp the view. As technically part of the aged all seem to trail in of their own accord to display their own particular set of lifetime flaws to display without any hesitation. Announcements come and go flaunting minor bits and pieces of forgettable prestige. A long unexpected wait ensues as the mystery guest delays their entrance. The swell of applause heralds the entrance of a young confident Korean. The performance commences as if one might have been convinced that the piano had at last been properly tuned to Chopin as the man bangs upon its keys flaunting an easy precision in squeezing out the right notes. His dexterity easily defeats the muddy performance of many previous performers. So peaceful and harmonious is the melody that one would have thought that the place was previously under sway of simply wannabes or well trained pretenders. Not this young impresario whose touch could seemingly bring peace to the torment of some poor unfortunate countryman stretched upon a rack just north of Seoul over the 33rd. He has picked up every trick it seems of the long list of celebrity teachers had to offer. Their continued noteworthy presences still known and not willingly conceded as falling victim to any sense of surrender to age or arthritis.
Once per week the faithful geriatric’s congeal here to find escape from the overbearing pressures of their everyday life’s defeats. The music inspiring a sort of perfection unobtainable in the chaos without. Noting in the firmament of closed eyes or down turned chins the performer with both envy and admiration. This muse communally devised within the chamber bringing to mind so many former moments of life changing opportunities missed. Capturing for another instant those experiences that were once loved but up to now have long dematerialized. But now, unexpectedly, at the program change this young winged Icarus finds wax and wane within the works of a genius of the past that lives upon a higher peak. Ignoring the natural intended counterpoint of opposing tempos, he clouds his rhythms with the unease of too much caution. Too mechanical, his fingers claw the keyboard, providing no understanding of emotional flow of hesitation posed against the abandon of unchecked exaltation. He lands with a thud in the swamp of his usual savior of measured precision which is defied by the intended emotion of the composer and the culture that spawned him. His confidence now mired in the morass of simply saving face before the inert sense of sonambulance of the crowd. They rise equally mechanically to their feet awakened by the silence at the piece’s conclusion. Such is the fate of the overly precocious. Never mindful that the one thing that they cannot be taught is the experience of age.