We all went out last night, the four of us. Beta had a harp recital. She played beautifully. Almost all the other kids, whether on piano or harp, made mistakes here or there, or all the way through. She played perfectly and we were proud.
Her little sister Gamma was on her best behavior as well. Another child in the auditorium was worse-behaved than she was, even. She climbed around on us a little and decorated me with oak leaves she had collected beforehand and so on, but she made little noise and heckled no one. Usually she heckles people.
In fact, it is one of her favorite things to do, come to think of it. Her bedtime routine goes like this: put on pyjamas, brush and floss, pick out a storybook, open bedroom window and lean out for a while looking at things and heckling pedestrians down below, read story, chat, go to sleep.
Anyhow, after the recital everyone – teachers, musicians, families – went to a nearby Italian restaurant for food and drink. It was late, Gamma was tired, we feared the worst.
But the restaurant agreed with her. She ate a little soup and drank a Coke. She crawled around under the table (seats 20) and hit people (primarily me) in the feet. We tried distracting her with a game of hide-and-seek with her sister and another harpist. She went to the toilet and wiped her own ass!! Stop the presses! Of course she announced this momentous achievement loudly upon her return.
Then she discovered two things: the restaurant had a piano, and it had a bar.
First she hung out at the bar for, like, half an hour. The bar was sort of an island in the middle of this cavernous restaurant, so we had a good view of her. She sat there like an old barfly chatting with the bartender. Afterwards she reported everything she’d learned. The bartender was 20 years old. Her name was such and such.
Later, she announced proudly, “I was just talking to a strange man, too!” Sometimes she’s shy (usually), sometimes she’s social. “I want to be a disco girl!” she says. “How nice,” we say.
Then she found the grand piano and played that for a while. By this time the restaurant was emptying out and it was only our party, most of whom already knew Gamma, and were fans of hers anyway. She announced that she would take piano lessons from her sister’s harp teacher, who also teaches piano.
Then we went home, heckled passersby for a while, and went to bed.