Living with the gradual loss of perfect pitch is not getting any easier. Embracing it as a whole new way of listening, processing, sympathizing, is not working for me.
It’s not an issue playing and teaching piano. I know what key we’re in – I can SEE the keys being played – my brain and ears are in alignment. Other times it’s horribly confusing. Like trying to sing in church when I can’t actually see the keys the pianist is playing or figure out what chords the guitarists are playing because they’re using capos.
Conversation as we lingered at the table after lunch – only the younger daughter (15) was home:
Leslie: (singing a tune) What is this? It’s been in my head ALL WEEK and I can’t figure it out. It’s driving me crazy.
Me: I don’t know. Are you singing in the right key? A flat, right?
Leslie: Yes I’m singing in the right key. And it’s in G.
Me: (putting my head on the table in despair, knowing I’m probably wrong. Again.) That’s a G? This is SO depressing. Like this morning in church. When we were supposed to sing a capella? I didn’t know which notes to sing.
Leslie: (eyes widening, a mix of pity and horror in her voice) You didn’t know which notes to sing? THAT’S HORRIBLE! What did you DO?
Me: I DON’T KNOW. I tried to listen to other people and blend in.
Leslie: (feeding off my angst) But how do you DO THAT?
Me: (feeding off her horror. She knows what’s coming in 30 years.) I HAVE NO IDEA. I never learned HOW.
Leslie: But isn’t that what normal people do?
Me: Yes. But WE’RE NOT NORMAL. (I’m not a drama queen. Really, I’m not. Just passionate.)
Husband gets up and walks away, shaking his head and trying to roll his eyes.
I have to make light of this or I’ll end up throwing myself a pity party. And that would just be wrong.