Apparently it’s a Frank Sinatra evening

I love how music (or art in general) can whisk me off to a different place and time. I’ve listened a few times now to The Night is Young and You’re So Beautiful and Strangers in the Night. (All titles link to Frank Sinatra versions on YouTube.) The room I’m in seems filled with the air of Old Hollywood, and everything is in greyscale, including the Mickey Mouse cartoon playing on the television. The setting is ripe for reminiscences.

When I was six, I had a small piano keyboard and a book of piano sheet music for beginners. Strangers in the Night was one of the first songs I learned to play (just the melody, since it was a book for beginners). Another song I remember playing from the book is The Girl from Ipanema. My grandfather liked Frank Sinatra.

I’m listening to The Way You Look Tonight now, and I’m thinking that it was a good job, figuring out how to play songs on the piano from a book at age six.

And now it’s Moon River playing, and I remember how every “that was a good job” came as “well of course you should always do a good job, otherwise what’s the fucking point of you? Are you just going to be a worthless piece of shit all your life?” 

Now it’s Are You Lonesome Tonight playing, and I know that that six-year-old girl won’t have any measure of self-worth until she’s much older.

And now it’s You’ll Never Walk Alone playing, and my heart aches for her.


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