I had a beautiful piano at my house, but I never learned how to play. I always wanted to learn how. I loved music. I had it my entire life, and I always meant to get around to it.

Then I was twenty, and it had rusted.

The wood was brittle, and the chords were bright red.

“ There’s nothing you can do for it now. It’s rusted up and it’s got all this water damage… It’s just in the way. You’re going to have to scrap it out.”

I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to say anything. I was feeling pensive and childish, I was feeling sick to my stomach and shaky. I wanted to learn to play piano. I still had time. I was just twenty. People live for like seventy, eighty years. I wanted to write songs for piano and play songs on piano.

In the evening, I went to confront my piano.

I couldn’t lift up the wooden guard covering the keys. The joints had rusted shut. I stared at it for a long time, sitting on the bench. I felt sick. Sick to my stomach, sick in my heart.

I lifted up the carved wood that the chords were behind, and stared for a long time at the intricate interplay of the ruined wires, coiled tightly and rendered useless by my malpractice. I hit one with my hand, and it made a soft, pitiful noise.

I cannot describe what I did to the piano. I think it was more like the actions of an animal than a person. It was a feeling I had never felt before, a feeling that replaced all cognizant thought. I was angry, angry at myself, angry at the world, angry at my parents, angry at my education, angry at my incompetence, angry at the opportunities I had lost, angry at the opportunities I had let pass by, and most of all, I was angry at the useless fucking piano.

I felt pain, and hatred, and ecstasy, and release, and I drew out parts of my own ability I didn’t realize I possessed. I did not use tools or wear any protective equipment.

And then I cried over the piano for a long time.

The remains of the piano.

I was crying for all the same reasons I had destroyed it. I was sad for all the same reasons I had been angry. My hands were raw, bleeding, and I had so many splinters I knew I wouldn’t be able to get all of them out.

I had killed my piano.

It was nothing more than a pile of a wood and a bucket of metal parts. It could no longer be recognized as a piano.

And I cleaned it all up, feeling nothing, and I bandaged my hands, feeling nothing, and I got rid of all the photographs in my house that it was in, and I never talked about my piano again.