My dad is selling our house, the house in which I grew up in Indonesia. The house of pain as I like to think of it. I swear if you were there, you’d be able to feel unhappiness emanating from every corner. I haven’t been in that house in over 5 years and yet I don’t miss it. It isn’t home anymore. Not since my mother passed away anyway. And I’ve never been a big fan of the nosy, meddling neighbours.
I was just thinking about the neighbours we had growing up. The couple living next door were devout Muslims. Once they complained to my mother about me playing Silent Night — a Christmas song — on the piano which they thought was inappropriate and un-Islamic coming from a Muslim household. I guess they picked the wrong parental unit to file such a ridiculous complaint. My mother told me about it and we had a giggle. It was our little secret. She never told me to stop playing the song. Whatever I liked to play on the piano was fine by her. Since then, whenever I felt like playing the piano and I knew the neighbours were home, I’d play Silent Night just to be annoying. If I felt generous, I’d play the only other Christmas song I knew how to play, It Came Upon the Midnight Clear, which I doubt the neighbours knew was a Christmas song.
Had it been my dad they had complained to, it would’ve been another story. It Came Upon the Midnight Clear would’ve been the only Christmas song I’d be able to play at home, because to him, the neighbours were always right.
I miss my piano. I hate that the last memory I had of it is of the smell of the cigarette the man who bought it smoked inside our house when he came to pick it up. No one had ever smoked inside our house when my mother was alive.