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by David Todd McCarty | Tuesday, December 5, 2017

I’m the guy no one sees. An invisible man in a city of millions. Oh, it’s not hard to be invisible in the city—not like back home in Calumet, Oklahoma where we had a whopping 553 people in the whole town—well, until I left, and then I guess it was 552. Haven’t been back in years, so who knows how many people live there now. Not enough I can tell you that. Or maybe far too many. It’s hard to know sometimes.

Often times I don’t even meet the owners. The maid lets me in, shows me where the piano is, and goes back to watching her soaps. I tune pianos with the soft sound of Spanish soap operas drifting in from the kitchen.

Some guys wouldn’t allow that but I don’t have a problem. I have a good ear, always did, and I can tune out the bullshit.

I learned to tune pianos from an old Jew named Elmer. I always thought that a funny name. I thought of Elmer Fudd, but his name was Rabinowitz. He told me the name meant “son of a rabbi” and sure as shit if he wasn’t the actual son of a goddamn rabbi. He came from a long line of rabbis, but he told me he didn’t want any part of that life. He said he didn’t believe in God, which was strange to me because I’d never met anyone who didn’t believe in God. What was there to believe? Where I grew up, everyone went to Church and everyone believed in God. I wouldn’t say they were all particularly godly men, but no one had the gall to say they didn’t believe in God. Only a communist would say such a thing.

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