Polka Party on the Premises

I live across the hall from a recording artist.

It’s true. I do.

“Agnes” plays the electric organ with great passion and intensity for hours every day.

When I first moved in she politely knocked on my door and in her raspy smokers voice told me,

“I practice the organ in the afternoon and evenings. Please let me know if it’s too loud or if I am disturbing you.”

Then she smiled at me, pulled her toque tightly over her ears and wandered down the hall to go grocery shopping.

I have an image of her playing away, cigarette dangling from her lips, an overflowing ashtray to her left, eyes closed, lost in some Oktoberfest-ish memory.

I don’t hear her playing from the inside of my condo. Maybe if I did I wouldn’t like the music as much (I’m not the biggest polka fan)

but

when I come home from a long day at work I hear her music as soon as I step off the elevator and her peppy Polka two step forces me to change my draggy slow shuffle to a sprite and springy pace.

Agnes is so good she has several recordings of her work. Or so she tells me. I believe her because I’ve never heard her make a mistake.

One of these days I will ask to purchase one of her CDs. But in the meantime I’ll enjoy the free concert across the hall.

I hope I have a passion as strong as her when I get to be her age.

I hope to have a charming eccentricity that makes my neighbours take note of who I am and what I am capable of doing. “The musician from across the hall,” instead of “the old lady with a thousand cats.”

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