It was about four years ago when a close friend of mine, named Ray, took quite a fancy to a girl. Besotted, I think, is the adjective we’re looking for here. And why not? She was pretty and intelligent and outgoing and… oh, you know; all those wonderful things that make a young fool’s giddy heart beat faster and mouth turn dry.
But, alas, the young lady in question showed Ray little more than indifference.
Now, the thing is; this girl was really into her music. I don’t mean she was a groupie, or fanatically followed any particular band; I mean to say that she loved to play instruments. She was, I dare say, quite the musician.
But Ray knew nothing about music or the making thereof. In fact he was still under the impression that those black and white things at the front of a piano were called teeth. He was an exceptional bricklayer though.
Ray, always a resourceful fellow and ever a dreamer, decided that he must better himself if he was to hit it off with the girl of his dreams…
He therefore decided upon the bold move of taking an intensive private course of piano lessons. Then, he reasoned, when next bumping into this musical girl, he could fluently converse in the mysterious language of the musicians; he could talk to her of semi-quavers, C-sharps and the fact the Every Good Boy Deserves Favour.
He found a private tutor and learned how to make his meaty and callused bricky’s fingers dance over those things that he now understood were called keys. He also invested as much money as he did time in buying books on music, musicians and other music-related things, which he then pored over day and night. He devoured all the information he could from scores of books, while zealously practicing the keyboard from books of scores. He was, after all, a man with a mission; Ray was doing all of this to win the girl he adored, and what greater motivation could Ray have to succeed?
Six weeks and eighteen very expensive and extremely intensive lessons later…
…Ray was hopelessly in love with his music teacher.
And the feelings were entirely mutual, I must add.
The girl for whom he had gone to so much time, expense and trouble – for whom he had devoted himself to the Herculean effort of mastering the piano in such a startlingly short time, for whom he had learnt a whole new lexicon and developed very a genuine interest in this Liberacean pursuit – was all but forgotten! She never got a chat to him about treble clefs, countermelodies, nocturenes or the Baroque movement of 1600ad to 1750ad because…
…Ray was busy making beautiful music with an entirely different woman.
There’s probably a moral to this story…
…and I suspect that it’s this; despite our kack-handed endeavours to achieve what we feel we want and acquire what we think we need, God knows what’s best for us.