by Miles Rost
The piano lid slammed down.
Such was Paul Picard’s day. Ever since he woke up in the morning, he was hitting one snag after another. The piano lid’s anger towards him finally drove Paul to break his streak of non-cursing. He waved his hands around like a maniac and cursed until he was blue in the face.
The door slammed, and a figure popped their head around the parlor’s doorframe.
“Dude! I can hear you from the other side of town!”
Paul looked at his best friend, Mark Bieganek, as he lowered his voice to near nothing. He was still mouthing curses while waving his hands in anger and pain towards the piano.
“Yeah, I got it, Paul. But seriously, the pain’s not going to go away quickly no matter how much cursing you do.”
After another minute of trying to get the pain to go down, Paul swung his gaze straight towards Mark.
“If you knew the day I had, you’d probably be cursing, too. I have not done it for a year, and I know that I don’t have to do it, but there was no other option today.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Well, when I woke up, I reached for my alarm clock. The clock was too far away because my now ex-girlfriend moved it to the other side of the nightstand. So I ended up tumbling onto the floor with my face being planted into my smelly old sneakers, which I can say have now been sent to the recycling bin. Shall I go on?”
Mark looked at him, nodded his head, while mentally shaking it.
“Got to the shower, and lo and behold, it was all cold water, all the time! So I washed up and likely proceeded to get a cold starting tomorrow. But that’s not the worst of it.”
“Next, I pick up the mail and there’s a letter from the IRS. It tells me that they think I haven’t been taking out the right deductions, so I’m going to get audited next week. They want 7 years of returns, and all of them are back at my dad’s place in Poughkeepsie. And it gets better!”
Mark waved his hands in front of his face and shook his head.
“Man, just hold up a bit. For just a moment, take a listen to yourself. What do you hear?”
“I hear a man who is not happy with the way things are going today, and who just got his fingers injured by a piano that hates him severely.”
Mark smirked, as he bore his eyes deep into Paul’s.
“What I hear is someone who isn’t able to let go.”
Paul looked at him, and his eyes started to flare up.
“Paul, you need to remember that when life is too much, you gotta roll with it.”
“Roll with it?”
“Yeah, if you just take what’s happened and look at it as not a slight against you, but more like a challenge to make your day much better, you’ll just end up rolling with the punches.”
Paul walked out of the parlor, still shaking his hand out. He walked across the hall and into the kitchen, opening the freezer.
“Seriously? You’re giving me advice about rolling with it? When I feel like the world is against me?”
“Are you hearing yourself, Paul? You sound like someone who is whining! You need to shake off the pain and get back out into the world. You can do it, just roll with it, baby!”
Paul blinked, staring at Mark like he was an alien.
“As much as I want to punch you right now, Mark, you are absolutely right.”
“Great! So what are you going to do?”
“I’m going to go upstairs, get a bandage on my hand, get something nice to wear, go outside, and punch someone!”
Mark was about to respond, when he froze. Paul’s words sank into his mind like melted butter, and his eyes got wide.
Paul walked over to him, and put his mouth next to his ear.
Mark firmly planted his palm into his face, realizing that he just got himself played by his best friend.
“I guess that means we’re going out to the bar, right?”
Paul bounded towards the stairs, and jumped upon the first step.
“We’re going to the Starboard on this day. I think it’ll be better once I get an irish in me.”