The Keys

Looking at my keyboard as I type, little more than a week's worth of coding under my belt, comes this sense of awe that the answers lie within.

Like, everything that's ever been made, every operating system or game or website or (probably) life support machine, must at some point have begun here.

I bet no-one has ever gone up to Jony Ive and said: "dude, that latest keyboard is an absolute fucking masterpiece." 

But the one I'm looking at is. 

True story: I once went out for dinner on Valentine's Night to a basement restaurant in London.

In the middle of the dining room, nestled amongst the dozen or so tables, was a Grand Piano. 

At the end of the evening - it being Valentine's and all - some drunk guy got up to try and play Eric Clapton's 'Wonderful Tonight' to his wife. But he couldn't. 

He knew all of the chord shapes, but he didn't know the chords in the song.

I on the other hand knew all of the chords in the song but none on the piano. 

Between the two of us we managed to play that damn tune, me calling out the chords and he playing them. The diners (collectively) sang.

Everyone in that place looked at me, understandably, as some kind of virtuoso. 

They cheered at the end, urging me to take the stool and play some other crushingly soulless tune. But I couldn't. I didn't know how.

The drunk guy wouldn't let up so I had to make out it was my night off from being a virtuoso and insist he stopped hassling me.

I swore to myself that night I would learn piano (and go out to piano bars every Valentine's in the vain hope of retrospectively claiming my rightful glory).

But I haven't. 

And right now, the very idea I might be capable of building a website of my own from scratch, back to front, feels inordinately harder than the piano could ever be.