No One Special

I wrote a piece about a virtuoso piano player who died recently. He was a tall, lanky, man from Texas who won an international Tchaikovsky competition in the USSR in the late fifties. He performed his greatest hits for a while, made a butt-load of cash and then faded off into obscurity with his mother and his personal assistant (most likely gay lover)

In the 90's his assistant/gay lover tried to sue him for alimony since they had been live-in partners for over 23 years, but Texas doesn't recognize gay marriage let alone gay common law ones.

Either way, the case was settled.

I didn't mention any of that because it didn't matter.

I just thought it interesting this guy who was heralded as a hero, died in relative obscurity, and how fascinating it was to me that his death meant something to someone who had no earthly connection to him other than a remainder autobiography that never sold.

I also though it kind of cool to dream about someone who may have done what I wish I had, but never did, which was to read the damn book.

What I also didn't mention at the time was what I really thought of the man.

From what little I knew, not having read his own book.

I thought he was a particularly amazing case study of fame and fortune.

At 13 he was offered a full ride to Juliard, but turned it down so he could continue studying under his mother. He was probably terrified there wouldn't be homosexuals at Juliard, what with all the GI's returning from war.

He did go eventually, graduated eventually, found love eventually. His home town funded his trip to Moscow so he could enter the Tchaikovsky competition. He ended up being the clear winner, but his mastery had to be approved by Khrushchev, cause it was 1958, the height of the Cold War, and a Texan just showed up and kicked some ass.

He tries for so many years to live up to his "potential" but the bad reviews, the dwindling ticket sales let him fade into becoming no one special, so that he could live the rest of his life with his mother and gay lover in peace.

It haunts me to think that this is how it is for all of us. We hit our moment and then either spend the rest of our lives clawing our way back toward it, or, seeing that our moment has past, back out of the room and keep our dirty little secrets to ourselves.

I thought about this today as I was shucking crab meat for our dinner salads.

Am I climbing?

Am I clawing?

I guess I won't know 'till I'm nearing my deathbed.

So either way,

At least I am pursuing.

And I should probably call my mom and tell her I love her.

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