I am informed by the gentleman that it is his wife’s birthday, she loves the piano and studied it many years ago at the Institute of French.
“Your wife went to the Conservatoire de Paris … in France?” I ask, slowly, for clarification.
But I am once again informed that it was indeed at the Institute of French where his lovely lady honed her chops and additionally, even though they have a big black one in their living room in West Bloomfield, not the fancy part of the suburb mind you, the part where the real people live, she don’t play it no more.
The woman, silent all this time, then asks if I know the theme from Out of Africa.
“It’s the Adagio movement from Mozart’s only concerto written for the clarinet, right?” I ask, slowly, for clarification. And also because I don’t want to offend a graduate from the Institute of French by playing the wrong thing.
I am informed with great authority that it is by Robert Redford and Meryl Streep.
So having no other choice, I play the Adagio I know to be the correct music.
In the middle of cake, and a full dining room, she starts sobbing.
I am told that it’s her favorite music ever. That I am immensely talented and gifted. That I am to keep doing what I do, passionately, and to never ever stop.
Just like that, a guy who thinks he know everything, slowly warms up to a couple who knows nothing.