by greenbamboostudios

In the largest private banquet room, which can normally accommodate far more, a single table is set for 20 guests.


When I ask one of the hostesses what important sports star, celebrity or politician might be joining us tonight, I am told that it is a man’s last meal with his family.


In the reservation notes, I read that he has cancer. There are no more options. Everyone lives in different states. And this will probably be the last time they will all be together as a family.


Only the two servers assigned to the room are allowed to witness a dinner that is tearful with sorrow and joy. Oblivious to the poignancy of a final farewell, the rest of the restaurant continues with the business of life. Anniversaries and birthdays are toasted. Romantic dates take selfies. Pre-theatre cocktails are swilled and swallowed before curtain.


I am not privy to the reminiscence and reconciliation before this man’s departure either.


But I am consciously aware that whatever I am playing on the piano is being piped into his room. Even though I do not see any of their faces, and they do not see mine.


So I play with a full range of emotions.


Happy for once, to remain invisible.