Is there anything more dull than listening to a friend playing the oboe? I would submit there is not, because I have been listening to my stupid friend playing the same piece on the oboe for over two hours, and I am bored of it. I would not be unhappy if I never heard an oboe again.
I have been playing the oboe for hours. Everyone loves it except my friend here, who hates it. I know he hates it, but I know he will listen to it. He would listen to it if I played for three, four more hours. He is not really here for the music, of course. He wants us to make our own beautiful music, as he actually said to me once. I laughed and so did he, but more ruefully. I wonder if he knows that if we made music together, I would still play the oboe.
And why does it have to be something so high pitched? I had a roommate once who played electric guitar loudly every night. He thought he was Eddie. Sometimes I wondered if he knew there were frets lower than 12. He did the thumb tapping thing, like on Eruption, until one night I erupted and found another roommate. The thing she does with her finger, when she trills, reminds me of that. The same eerie fluttering. It’s unnatural, is what it is. The piano is a good instrument. I wonder why she didn’t take up the piano.
I never liked the piano. The keys felt too heavy. The whole thing felt too heavy, and there’s so much pressure. Good music, real music, it’s created on a piano. If Beethoven had used my piano, he could still have composed his symphonies. Jim Brickman could still have written “My Valentine.” I couldn’t play Row Your Boat properly for over a month. I finally gave up on it. I tried the guitar, but it didn’t seem feminine enough, unless I was Joan Baez, which I wasn’t. So I gave up music for a while, tried interpretive dance, and, one day, while interpreting Vivaldi with my hips, I thought of the oboe, and I never looked back.
Pianos are really the ticket. Least annoying instrument, hands down. I don’t love pianos but they have less capacity for annoyance. Honest to God, I’d rather hear a cat convulsing on a piano for five hours than hear 15 minutes of the most beautiful oboe music ever played. But I can’t leave. I’d like to go, but of course I can’t. I said I’d stay. I’m the guinea pig. Or maybe the plant. In the 70s, some lab did studies on plants. They played some plants heavy metal and some plants classical. The classical plants grew faster. The heavy metal plants died. I think it was supposed to teach me that metal will kill you. Well, isn’t that the point?
Playing the oboe isn’t popular. In fact, a lot of people think I mean the piccolo, which is crazy because I’d never even touch one of those things. Too fragile, and what can you play on them? I know, no one knows any of the great oboe pieces either, but that’s just lack of exposure. I think you can play Flight of the Bumblebee on the piccolo. I could play it on the oboe, but I don’t want to. I enjoy playing the beginning of Beethoven’s 5th. Twee twee twee twee. Twee twee twee twee.
I think that was Beethoven’s 5th.