As evening came and the crowd thinned, Balint and another friend and I shot some palinka before settling in: Balint and Mike to the couch to discuss matters of physics, reasoning and philosophy; me, to Balint's Steinway for a playing tour through Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier. I'd run through a prelude and a fugue, then break to flip pages, see what fingerings my slightly-tipsy brain could still handle .... and in the silence the boys would call out for me to keep playing, offering to toss a $20 my way for continued service. Once I got to #22, the Prelude in B-flat Minor (BWV 867), I stopped to work on it for awhile:
After that I had to stop playing because of the hour and the upstairs neighbors. The boys had moved to the breakfast table, still talking heatedly, and my buzz was still on and the air outside was still frigid and unwelcoming, so I busied myself .... bagged leftovers and put in the fridge, stacked placements, wiped the tables, swept the floor, loaded the dishwasher ... they were still talking. Finally then, acknowledging weariness, I settled in on the couch and tucked feet underneath, leaning head back for a quick doze. It was at that moment Balint seemed to first recognize I had just completed his party clean-up without him ... I heard his shuffling my way on stockinged feet, felt him settle onto the couch in front of me, hip against my hip, opened eyes as he leaned in to kiss me high on the cheek up by the ear and exclaim, "Did you do all that? That's sweet! I should marry you!"
Yes. Bach. And elbow grease. It's that easy.