I really hate you right now.
I don't mean that in a, “we'll never see each other again,” kind of way. But in a self torturing, “you make me so mad the only way to get back at you is to spend even more time with you and make you suffer with me,” kind of way. It isn't so much about the way you turn my finger tips purple from lack of blood flow under your elastic straps, or no matter how hard I try polishing you after practice you still end up tarnished and gross with oxidized finger prints and smudges on you. No, I can handle that. I can almost write that off as something to show off for all of my hard work. Like a scar or an “I was so drunk” story. No, it is far more complex than that. It is the mental abuse you inflict on me. It is your slow, off-beat, ringing laughter every time I play you with any intention. It is the way you give me encouragement when I am playing a rhythm and as soon as my feet begin to move you choke up and loose the beat. Sometimes you even let me walk around, maybe with a bump of the hip or a 3-step turn, and then you fall silent without a strike or a clang of sound making me have to stop completely and start over. You are like a childhood bully who points at my shirt and when I look down to see what is there you bop me in the nose. And you do it over and over and over again.
You keep me stifled and frustrated. You won't let me alternate between simple rhythms. You won't let me speed up enough to play along to songs I like. You just keep demoralizing me. You keep leading me on only to let me down. When I talk to my friends about you they seem to think you are just great. “Zills? Oh yeah, zills are pretty awesome.” You must really be pulling the wool over their eyes to make them give you such compliments.
I don't understand why you deal this kind of abuse to me. Is it because I ignored you for the first 10 or so years we were acquainted? Is it because I gave too much of my time to others and now that I want to be friends you are punishing me? Was I too into learning stupid-human Bellydance tricks spending all my time balancing swords and fire on my head? Was I too involved with editing music for a show you would never be invited to? I could see how you might be bitter about this but come on, I was young and stupid. I didn't have the sense to work out our differences in the beginning. I only wanted to do what was fun and easy. Don't hold the ignorance of youth against me.
If you would just tell me what you want I will do it. Do you want me to memorize rhythms like 3-1-3-1-3 and 3-3-7? Do you prefer me to alternate hands or play only on the dominate side? Do you want me to practice with combos overlaid with zills or just improv until my hands and body sync up? Really, what do you want? God knows I've tried to satisfy you but you just keep playing hard to get.
You know, I'm really ready for this relationship to just move on. I know I should just accept my karma, man up, buckle down, and take my licks. I just wish we didn't have to fight like this. I don't understand why our relationship has to be so difficult. Why is it always so hard with you?
Well, I really didn't mean to ramble on like this. I hope you are doing well, all things considered between us. I look forward to hearing from you again. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe when I get off work we can try talking again. I hope things start to go better between us.
I'm not really mad at my zills. I started zill practice off ok. Tried a few combos and it started going downhill. Tried improv to a fun song. Things got worse. I finally gave up and was sitting, arms crossed, lip out, pouting. So I decided to write my zills a letter. And you know, I actually feel pretty content now. Read Natalia's much funnier letter to her zills.