The Piano Man


They found him, dinner suit dripping, by the river.

He was not able to tell them his name — or perhaps it was there, amongst the screams and panic.

Back at the station they brought in linguists and translators who narrowed it down to some Russian dialect. Mira Dobleyskia, who spoke 12 languages, picked out,

“I don’t know who I am!”

They moved him from a cell to a ward.

In the day room he found the piano. He clung to it like driftwood, pouring out Rachmaninov’s heartaches as if they were his own.

The nurses began to call him “Billy”.