Fine Tuning

I am completely disoriented. Being the ultimate creature of habit, there is a certain rhythm to my days. Usually at this time –- 9:33 – no, make that 9:34 pm -– on a weeknight like tonight, everyone in the house except me is already in bed sleeping. I am in the library staring at the empty space between me and my laptop screen and breathing in the silence. The issues and stresses of the day are evaporating and then reforming in the shape of my next blog entry.

Tonight is different. It is 9:37 pm now and the post-bedtime procrastination activities of my elder daughter are still audible upstairs. The dogs are locked out on the porch and whining up a storm. A piano tuner is in the living room, hitting and adjusting one key at a time -– 16 down, 72 to go. Meanwhile, my husband is distracting him with questions about optimal room temperature and humidity, perfect pitch and how exactly one becomes a piano tuner.

It is now 9:39 pm and I am mentally calculating how long I will have to hold out before my beloved evening silence returns to me. I hear that my husband is now just preparing a loaf of bread to be put into the oven, so I have to recalculate. Difficult, since I have no idea how long bread dough needs to rise and then bake. For the first time in my life, I wish for that little nugget of wisdom.

– – – – –

It is now 9:48 pm. I couldn’’t help myself. I went into the kitchen and feigned interested in the art of baking bread. (30 minutes baking time,– but he hasn’’t started preheating yet – so I guess I have to add another 15 at least.) I generously offered to stay up and take the bread out of the oven if he wants to go to bed, but he said – “”that’’s okay, it is no problem””. Cruel man. On the way back to the library, I peeked at the piano tuner who was done with the fourth highest key. But he started at middle C and still has to work his way down from there, so I guess he is going to need a while too. Best case scenario: ETA of silence and solitude is 10:30 pm. It is now 9:53 pm.

My daughter upstairs just came out of her room again. Normally I would go up there and loudly express my dissatisfaction about her bedtime procrastination games, but the piano tuner with his good ear would hear it. The dogs outside have begun to scratch at the porch door and I can’t scold them either. It is 9:58 pm.

10:04 pm. Just heard the first bass tone, my daughter’’s bedroom door closing and the oven being turned on. Hope is returning.

– – – – –

Just took another tour around the house and ended up distracting the piano tuner myself with a discussion about home schooling and alternative teaching methods. Meanwhile my husband was in the kitchen researching children’’s literature during the Third Reich -– a subject mentioned in one of the student presentations he heard today that really piqued his interest. He actually found a video of one of the books described: – “”The Poisonous Mushroom””. We both wondered if watching that video didn’’t break the laws of this country against fascist expression. It is now 10:18 pm. The bread is almost ready to go into the oven and I am hearing deep bass tones. It can’’t be that much longer now. In the meantime, I guess this is as good a time as any to write that long overdue email to my students’’ parents.

– – – – –

10:49 pm. The piano tuner is done, paid and gone. The dogs have been released from the porch and taken out. The bread needs just 10 more minutes. Also, to kill time, we started searching for our flights to the States this summer using two laptops simultaneously to make sure we all got on the same flight home. (My daughters and I are flying over there two weeks earlier.) A discussion ensued about whether or not we would fly with Turkish Airlines. We decided to wait one more day to book – but swore to each other that it would be done by the end this week – for sure! We are getting really good at making that particular promise to each other. I am now back at my laptop, impatiently waiting for the oven timer to go off. Any second now . . .

– – – – –

11:21 pm. Despite the fact that the bread is long out of the oven and almost cool already, my husband is still in the kitchen. I can hear a soccer game on the TV. I’’m losing hope again. At least I was able to change into my pajamas -– something I would have normally done two hours ago. And I put a load of laundry into the machine. On the way, I peeked into the kitchen to see what the heck he was still doing in there that was keeping him up so late. He informed me that he wanted to order a special vaporizer for the piano.

– – – – –

11:35 pm. That’’s all I really have to say at the moment. 11:35 pm.

– – – – –

It is now 11:52 pm. My husband has said goodnight and that the vaporizer is on the way. The washing machine is spinning and the dogs are back in the library snoring, but otherwise . . . silence. Finally, finally, things are back to the way they should be . . . except that now I am too tired to write. I guess there will be no blog entry today.

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