I moved the goddess of bad notes away from the piano, out of sight in another bay window, in case I've been depending on her. I had thought the wooden carving was androgynous, but further inspection suggests the god is a goddess. She appears angry, with deep ruts in her unsmiling cheeks and a fiercely set jaw under asymmetrical eyes set in deep sockets, her scraggly hair long and wiry.
On the other hand, I don't know her well, so her contorted mouth might be a gentle smile. At my age, I should have outgrown appearance prejudice. Many people have surprised me over the years. A few nights ago, I appeared to myself in a dream, my face damaged by burns or disease and, as I re-entered consciousness, I was thinking, "It doesn't matter; I am who I am."
"You rascal," says Virginia. "I hoped you were going to explain your thought that a piece of wood could swallow bad notes."
"It wasn't my idea," I confess. "The friend who gave it to me is a respected professor emeritus of religion and philosophy. He suggested she might help me out."
"I should have guessed," says Virginia. "Is this the same fellow who earned an amulet in a Japanese dojo,* after learning to invoke spirits and lay hands on dead cars and frogs?"
"Croak," I say.
"Vroom," says Virginia.
* The religious sect was Sukyo Mahikari.
2 weeks ago