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After the college store, we went half a block to Apex Music on El Cajon Boulevard, where I saw it -- an 88-key Yamaha P60, the one David had been reading about! Steve Olsher, third-generation owner and president of the store, turned on the equipment and demonstrated what this imitation of a baby grand can do -- "Yamaha makes pianos, so their keyboards tend to sound more accurate," he said, along with other such background facts that added to my gut-like conviction that this was the one for me. There was one small problem -- the color. When I began to indicate that I "must have this," David said, "That's not going in our living room." Excuse me? What?

"It's silver," he said; "it won't match the room we've designed together." He was right. Cherry hardwood floors, green and black granite counters, gray slate, and more did not play well with the silver hue of the keyboard and its blond maple leg stands. This became a point of contention for the next 20 minutes. David wanted a black one. There was no way in hell I could wait for however many weeks it would take before it would arrive. Searching my head for persuasive arguments, my mouth spurted out options -- it can go in my office, or I'll paint it before we move, or why not in the bedroom? But I wanted it somewhere it could be appreciated by guests, because I plan to perform, so I began trying to convince him that it wouldn't look bad with our colors. Our appliances are all stainless -- that's like silver, right?

He wasn't budging -- "Maybe in your office" was the closest he came to accepting it. I didn't want to wait, but I needed to know that we'd both be happy with this purchase. Finally, I came upon a good idea -- we'll stick it on the terrace! I could find some cover for it, to protect against the mild Southern California elements. I beseeched his face in anticipation. "That could work," he said. No sooner did the words come out of his mouth than I raced to the counter to say, "I'll take it!" Steve gave me a great deal with pedal and stool accessories, and they boxed up the very same keyboard that I'd seen in the store. I grabbed a few piano books and checked out of the store, a big, satisfied grin on my face.

David helped me set it up, and I lovingly fondled the cool, smooth texture of the keys. I tried a chord, and the sound of piano reverberated off the floor and walls to gently settle around me; memories of notes and tunes came fluidly back to my fingers. In the past few days, I've gone from scales to Bach. I needn't say it, but for those who don't know me, I rarely regret an impulse buy, from my first tattoo to my new keyboard, and I don't plan to change that anytime soon -- my intuition depends on me to carry out its wants and wishes.

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