TMI: My Tangents
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2011-10-21 7:26 PM
I want to scream because I can't wail.
It's Friday afternoon, late, and I assemble my tenor saxophone for some practice. The bill was $100 to have things on it fixed two days ago, with the idea that even more major repairs, probably an overhaul, are in the future. After all, there is the green menace.
Years ago the instrument, especially on the bottom, broke out with green corrosion. Was it some anti-freeze which spilled in my car trunk years ago, in which the horn has taken many rides? Maybe it's a cursed instrument, something bleeding from the very brass or a relaquering job from the early 90's.
I look at where an instrument normally gleams and catches the eye of prospective young and old players and instead there's a rash which reminds me of the desolation of something old tucked way back in an abandoned tool shed. I seldom see this on other instruments. Ah, yes, The Others who do not "have" to worry about this.
Tonight the instrument is just blocking me on many notes and while I'm not out to dress down the repair guy, who I've known for years, the urge is there.
I used to worry about the instrument playing too easily and for the last few years it's been just enough a labor to just bug me. Is it my teeth? Have I gotten lazy, not getting ease with stronger reeds?
Instrument repair is in the middle of a crisis. Not as many people have taken up the trade, and school programs, those which even still exist, are strapped for money and keep trying to repair old instruments rather than purchase new ones. Many repair people are buried with these school instruments and under this workload various things are often missed.
Now my frustration, with the music store closed for the night and the repair man not totally guaranteed for tomorrow, feels like the green gunk, mixed up with the voices freely residing in my head of the right wing denouncers of education: Yeah, it's all a waste. Who needs new instruments' expense for the tax payer? Who needs public education, band programs?
I want to wail, and the trouble is it's not Junior Walker or "Summertime".
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