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August 1, 2006

On the bus home, I was listening to Brendel play Beethoven’s twenty-seventh sonata. I was lost in the music, eyes closed, fingers racing to and fro across my knees.

When I opened my eyes, I noticed that the sandy-haired six-year-old in the seat opposite mine was also playing air piano. I looked up and gave him the smile of equals. He looked at me expressionlessly, his tiny hands darting expertly over the unseen keys.

Our gazes locked; I continued playing (it was an especially tricky passage).

And, to my delight, so did he.

by Teju Cole

Categories: Short Shorts Tags:
  1. August 1, 2006 at 9:34 am


  2. August 1, 2006 at 10:16 am

    Delightful! Gave me a big smile.

  3. MB
    August 1, 2006 at 10:25 am

    Ah, very nice.

  4. August 1, 2006 at 11:41 am

    Love this.

  5. August 1, 2006 at 12:31 pm

    I guess we’re the only music some kids may ever see.

  6. August 1, 2006 at 9:00 pm

    this is sweet, teju-cole

  7. August 2, 2006 at 2:15 am

    Ah, the ineffable Mister Cole. I’m glad you are still around here. Are you also elsewhere?

  8. August 2, 2006 at 10:09 am

    All children are expert musicians. Wonder, wonder, wonder.

  9. August 2, 2006 at 2:04 pm

    elegant and intimate and not a word un-needed. I need to thank BrendaClews for leading me here.

  10. August 2, 2006 at 3:55 pm

    For the benefit of his fans, I’d like to point out that the inaugural post for this edition of short shorts was also penned by Mr. Cole. We expect to print one more of his before the month is out. Some other contributors will also be appearing a second or even a third time, so stay tuned, y’all!

  11. August 3, 2006 at 7:16 am

    Dear readers, thank you. I’m grateful for that little boy, and his act of freedom.

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