Treat Yourself Right

This past year was a tough time for Smoove. You may remember that early on in the year, my favorite white silk suit was ruined by my dry cleaner. Not only did this mean losing one of my freshest outfits, but it also meant having to search for a new cleaner, as the trust between us had been broken beyond repair. The search for a new dry cleaner was ultimately successful, but it was long and exhausting.

Being A Mom Was The Best Four Years Of My Life!

As I get older, I find myself reflecting on my life more often and marveling at what an amazing journey it’s been. I’ve made tons of great friends, been to magnificent places all over the world, and learned so many important things about myself along the way. But if I’m being honest, there’s one period of my life that stands out from all the rest: those four incredible years when I was a mom.

Oh Great, Another Woman Who Only Loves Me For My Complete Collection Of ‘Rurouni Kenshin’ Manga

Well isn’t that great—just great. Here I am, thinking I’ve finally met someone who’s perfect for me—she’s caring, smart, beautiful, and most of all, it seemed like she really got me. But I should have known better. Turns out she’s just like the rest of them, just another in a long line of women who only love me for my complete collection of the classic wandering samurai manga Rurouni Kenshin.
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I Wouldn’t Have Invented The Piano If I Knew That Guy In ‘The Godfather’ Was Going To Get Strangled With Piano Wire

Inventing the piano was the culmination of my life’s work. A keyboard instrument unmatched in dynamic range and nuance of expression, it forever changed the way music was composed, performed, and enjoyed. It filled concert halls with a revolutionary new sound that has enchanted listeners for more than three centuries. And yet, I only feel bitter regret, knowing that my cherished invention led to that guy from The Godfather getting strangled with piano wire.

The profound artistic achievements made possible by my creation are wondrous, to be sure, but they aren’t worth more than a human life, especially that of Don Corleone’s most trusted bodyguard.

With the piano, I devised a stringed keyboard instrument that gave players a broader palette of tone colors and allowed for more precise rhythmic articulations. It took these tools of stylistic interpretation and placed them, quite literally, at the performer’s fingertips. As proud as I am of this innovation, if I’d had any idea that someone would one day lift open the top of my beloved creation, unwind one of the strings from its pegs, and use it as a makeshift garrote on that unsuspecting henchman, I would’ve scrapped the whole project immediately.

It just tears me up inside, thinking about the life he might have lived if I hadn’t invented the literal instrument of his death. From what I understand, he was a rising star within his crime syndicate. I’ve no doubt he had a great future ahead of him. Thanks to me, though, that future was ruthlessly snuffed out. In my vanity, I never stopped to think about the full consequences of my actions. How could I have been so selfish?

My invention may have given us the breathtaking sonatas of Beethoven and the masterful concerti of Rachmaninoff, but what it has taken away—the life of this man—is too much to bear.

When I was building my first piano, I thought only of the gift I might impart to lovers of music. The worst thing I imagined happening was someone accidentally getting their fingers caught in its lid! I never, ever thought my invention would be the downfall of the man who wrought vengeance upon all six would-be assassins of Don Corleone, got the singer Johnny Fontane out of his exploitive contract, and gave the most generous cash gift to Connie on her wedding day.

Some people delight in the sweet flow of Debussy’s arabesques or the feathery bounce of Chopin’s waltzes. Others marvel at how innovators from Franz Liszt to Thelonious Monk to John Cage pushed the potential of my piano to its very limits. But what do I hear? Nothing but the gags and retches of a loyal associate who was just doing his job by gathering information on the Tattaglia family. I can’t help but feel as though I lashed that wire around his neck with my own hands.

I’ve spent so much time rationalizing and making excuses in my head. Someone else would’ve invented the piano if not me, right? Or surely the Tattaglias would’ve found a different instrument to kill that guy with, if not the piano. Perhaps they would have crushed his head between two cymbals, stabbed him through the back of the neck with a flute, or ambushed him and bludgeoned him to death with bassoons.

But I’m kidding myself. When I hear the word “piano,” all I can think of is that bodyguard’s bulging eyes and his last gurgling breath. I am certain that his last thought was to curse the name of Bartolomeo Cristofori and the day I unveiled my first cimbalo di cipresso di piano e forte in 1700.

Believe me, I curse that day, too.

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