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y piano teacher moved four times during my ten years of private lessons, each successive domicile’s mantel and fresh teal carpet forested with a frozen menagerie of stone and ceramic bunnies. He took me on as a student solely because I was the great niece of his former teacher, a woman known to me simply as Aunt Judy, though her name was Justine, far more mellifluous sounding to my ears, and whom I can remember only slightly as a woman who gifted me with an enviable collection of jazz records to play on my Fischer-Price record

player when I was 4 before she passed aquamarine-painted car precisely in away the following year in a high rise in time to chauffer me back and forth to Chicago, as far removed a netherworld my own piano lessons. from our rural Midwestern hinterland My mother liked to recount Aunt as it seemed possible to be. She was Judy coming to visit the family from the livelier, more pneumatic, and Chicago wearing enormous diamonds altogether more charming older sister on her long fingers, smelling of Chanel, of my grandmother, who outlived laughing freely, and playfully teasing her her by more than 20 years despite a more dysfunctional family members, diet that consisted almost solely of calling my alcoholic grandmother “the doughnuts and cigarettes. Whereas duchess” because she wouldn’t get Justine, well mannered and with out of bed in the morning and thereby smooth, milky skin, neglected neither easing tension at the breakfast table her vegetables nor her champagne with an urbane sleight of hand. She and lived just briefly enough to leave was by all accounts, especially to the my mother her recently purchased neglected child of a single alcoholic 61

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Niche Magazine No. 1  

Niche is an online literary magazine that was designed to be limitless. It aims to provide a place where an array of voices, from experimen...

Niche Magazine No. 1  

Niche is an online literary magazine that was designed to be limitless. It aims to provide a place where an array of voices, from experimen...

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