Triticum Turgidum

Lying Dormant and Waiting to Bloom Since 2005

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Location: The Prairie, Illinois, United States

I am a beauty-loving ambidextrous higher-order primate who learned transcendental meditation at 7, statistical analysis at 23, tap dancing at 30, and piano at 35. I tolerate gluten, lactose, and differences of opinion, but not abuse. Or beets.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Play us a song, you're the Piano Man

Tall, blond, and mute, he can't (or won't) talk but he plays classical music and Beatles tunes. I think I'm in love.

"Piano Man" hasn't said a word since he was found wandering, distressed and soaking wet--on a dry day--on the Isle of Sheppey in southeast England on April 7, 2005. All the labels in his clothes were cut out, which frustrates his caretakers because they can't use clothing manufacturer info to help determine where he's from, but which strikes me--and I'm thrilled to chills over this--as the ultimate act of defiance against product placement.

Go Piano Man!

Aside: Piano Man, when you DO talk, please provide your proper name so you're not unwittingly selling Billy Joel records.

So, readers, I'm curious: Do you think Piano Man would be getting so much press coverage if he didn't look like a forlorn Versace model? The press reports of him as a piano "virtuoso" (which at least one report suggests is quite an exaggeration) further enhance the diamond-in-the-rough theme of this story. Tall, blond, quiet, wounded, talented, young, handsome. Who will play him in the movie? (I'm thinking Julian Sands c. Room with a View, but he's probably too old now.)

Makes me feel sad for all those folks who are institutionalized for mental and emotional illnesses who aren't tall, good-looking, and talented. Where's their press coverage? Where's their movie deal? Where's their 15 minutes of fame?

For that matter, where's my 15 minutes of fame?



Anonymous indigodaisy said...

First I've heard of this, K., but I think I love him, too.
Anybody who doesn't "fit in", or chooses not to - now we *know* these are the truly interesting people with much to teach!

I worked for years with people who were classified by the County of Marin as "mentally ill."
I typed up papers with their DSM diagnoses, all so they could continue to have a place to be during the day. Made me sick to have to label human beings - literally assign them a number.
I did art therapy groups...prepared meals for them...etc.
Our goal was to create a caring community for people, and we did it for many years,,, until the county removed all of our funding. They decided that one center for the county's mentally ill was enough to ask the tax payers to fund.
One of the wealthiest counties,, one of the so-called most enlightened places in this country of ours, chose to pave roads and pay higher salaries to their bean counters, instead of helping human beings in need.

It was a priceless life experience for me - taught me so much. All of it.

One thing I can guarantee you, it's the people in positions of power, people who make life-stealing decisions - these are the people we need to fear.

10:47 AM, May 24, 2005  
Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Yes, I read about this story and was fasinated. At first I thought about the Australian pianist, David Helgott (sp) for whom the movie Sine was written. Then I realized, that he had a family and supportive presence in his life. It then made me more and more aware of the countless individuals in this country who suffer from mental illness and are rendered moot in many ways. Often abandoned by family and friends as a result of psychosis, they are alone and frightened. Piano Man is lucky to have found a voice through his music.

12:47 PM, May 24, 2005  
Blogger Atreau said...

Part of me wonders if he wants to be found at all. The skeptic in me is saying that he's trying to find a way into fame. I hope he finds whatever it is he's looking for.

2:39 PM, May 25, 2005  

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