Copyright 2016 Mario V. Farina
Shakespir Edition, License Notes
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Mario V. Farina
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My name is Matthew Vincent. My wife’s name is Matilda. We call each other by our nicknames Matt and Mattie. Were in their twilight years.
We had our 50th wedding anniversary in March this year. We’ve had a happy, successful marriage, and we’re still in good health with the exception that Mattie cannot use her fingers well anymore. She was a pianist as a youth and gave many recitals. I couldn’t play a note but she didn’t care because she could make all the music that was needed in our home. And it was beautiful music!
The piano that she used is still in the living room. I remember when she would go there and Began playing. Sometimes she would play for hours. I would stop what I was doing and listen. Listening to her play was like taking a slice out of Heaven.
Every once in a while I’d go to the piano and try to pick out a tune. Even a note at a time was difficult for me. Mattie would look at me and smile. Once I tried to take piano lessons. This didn’t work. I just couldn’t make my fingers do what they were supposed to. My mind was able to play the tune, but I couldn’t transfer what was in my mind to the keyboard.
As her arthritis became worse she eventually needed to stop playing. I could see the sadness in her eyes when she would look at the piano and make a wish. I don’t think any of her wishes came true. She wouldn’t complain.
One day, as I was trying to pick out a tune, I heard her say, “I wish you could play.” Her words had not been intended for me to hear, but I did hear, and my heart grieved.
I wondered if I could do something about learning to play. One day when Mattie was seeing her sister in Albany for a few days, I visited a piano teacher. “I would like to learn how to play the piano,” I said. Miss Johnson, a nice lady, replied, “learning to play for a beginner is very difficult. Do you want to do this badly?” I replied, “I cannot tell you with words how badly!”
Ms. Johnson said, “I know a Wilma Wilson, who may be able to help you. I’ll give her a phone call about what you would like to do. Here is her number, do call her tomorrow.”
I did call Ms. Wilson the next day, and she invited me to see her. “I am a hypnotist,” she said. “It may be possible for me to hypnotize you in such a way that you will be able to play a musical piece as beautifully as any artist could do. The method is called, post-hypnotic suggestion. Would you like to try?”
I responded yes.
She asked if I had a piano and I responded that we did. She asked that she visit with me at my home to see whether she could hypnotize me into playing a musical piece. We agreed that she would come the following day.
When the doorbell rang, I opened the door quickly and ushered her into the living room. At her direction, we sat together on a stool at the piano. Then she began talking to me and told me not to respond but just listen. As she spoke, I began to feel sleepy and soon I was in another world. Vaguely, I knew that she had turned on Youtube on the computer and was playing Moonlight Sonata. When she woke me, she told me that I had been hypnotized to play this tune. I would need to hear someone ask me to play using the exact words, “Matt, play Moonlight Sonata for me.”
I asked Ms. Wilson what she you would charge for what she had done and she said there would be no charge. If she could make my wife a little happier, that would be all the pay that she would need. And she said she’d be happy to do it for me again with other tunes, if I wanted.
When Mattie returned from her trip, she excitedly told me about how she and her sister had had amazing adventures together in Albany. I couldn’t wait for her to finish speaking since I wanted to see whether what Ms. Wilson had hypnotize me to do would actually work. Finally there was an opportunity.
I asked Mattie to sit with me at the piano. She did, although she was puzzled as to why I had asked her to do this. “Mattie,” I said, “Would you please ask me to do something.”
“Of course”, she said. “What would you like me to ask.”
“Please ask for me to play Moonlight Sonata for you.” She looked at me and smiled. “When did you begin telling jokes?” she asked. “I’m serious,” I said. “Please do it.”
She became sad, but said, “Please play Moonlight Sonata for me.”
“No, Mattie. The words have to be exactly these: Matt, play Moonlight Sonata for me.”
With a slight smile, she repeated those exact words.
Suddenly the world around me faded into a misty dream. I was no longer Matthew Vincent. I was a part of the musical world. I knew that I had turned to the piano and was moving my hands over the keys but there were no feelings in my fingers. There were no thoughts in my head except the sound of music coming from ethereal place. It felt as if I was using the talents of skilled pianist and those of a gifted composer with their permission. After several minutes, the music ended, and I began to recover the sensibilities of the world. I looked at Mattie. She was crying.
“I don’t know how you did it, dear,” she said. “But, you have made me very happy.” Those few words were worth more to me that any I had ever heard before in my life.