Man's through-the-wall piano duet with a mystery neighbor became a beautiful love story

Sometimes the right two people come along at the right time in each other's lives, and a story for the ages is born. But it's rare that we get to see such stories captured in real-time.

This time we're lucky. In a silent saga befitting a Pixar short film—complete with soundtrack—a TikToker and his mystery neighbor have taken us all on a beautiful journey of music, love, longing, and loss.

Giorgio Lo Porto is an Italian living in London, and on February 6, he shared a video of his new neighbor playing piano. The music is muffled behind their shared wall, but clear enough to hear. Lo Porto wrote that he left a note for the mystery neighbor, telling them he loved their music and asking if they could play "My Heart Will Go On." And so they did.

Lo Porto left another note suggesting that they play something together, each in their own apartments. A call-and-response duet of sorts. He didn't know if they'd do it, or if they'd forget when the time came. He also said he himself hadn't played in months. But he started playing at 2pm, and as soon as he stopped, the neighbor began.

Their duets became a weekend "meet up," playing back and forth through their shared wall.

You can watch a compilation of the performance below but keep reading because there is so much more to this beautiful story:


Two neighbours playing piano between a wall - Giorgio and Emil www.youtube.com



Seems like a perfect meet-cute in a romantic comedy, doesn't it?

On Valentine's Day, they played a duet and Lo Porto wrote "It's Valentine's Day. We're in lockdown. This was our way of saying, I don't know who you are but I'm here. You're not alone."

Then it came time for them to meet.

"Well, today I have met my neighbor," Lo Porto wrote in a video shared on February 21. "It was better than expected."

"His name is Emil..."

@giorgio_lp_ I wasn't surprised - I knew there was a special soul behind that wall ##fyp ##foryou ##music ##neighbour ##love ##piano ##foryoupage
♬ original sound - Giorgio Lo Porto

"He is 78 years old, originally from Poland. This is his temporary accommodation while he waits for his house to be sold."

"He lost his wife in December due to COVID," Lo Porto shared. "And all he has left is the piano. And the reason why he plays at 2pm every weekend is because his wife loved it."

"He thanked me for keeping him motivated and less lonely. And I promised that I'll play with him until he moves out."

"He is camera shy," he added. "But I'll try again when he's ready."

Lo Porto shared that Emil is "a special soul" and that "he is fine now, healing." And his piano playing is just gorgeous.

Playing with Emil inspired Lo Porto to write his own song. "I woke up with 3 notes in my head," he wrote on February 27.

He added some string orchestration to it and called it "Dear Emil." It's the first song he's ever written.

"When I wrote this piece I started picturing Emil's life," he wrote. "A 78 y.o. widower who lost his wife due to this stupid virus. Spending days at home alone due to lockdown. Looking forward to play her favourite piano songs at 2pm every weekend, until a note appeared on his door. A letter showing he was heard and not alone. And a new friendship started. Two pianos between a wall, not knowing who was playing. But it didn't matter."

"You can be the light of somebody else's darkness. So keep shining."

On February 26, Lo Porto announced that Emil was moving out the following week, and shared their last weekend duet—the much requested "Moonlight Sonata."

He said Emil still didn't want to be on camera, but said he was much happier and thanked everyone who had been watching their duets. Lo Porto promised he would keep playing for him on the weekends.

It would be lovely if the story ended there, but it doesn't. (May need a tissue now if you haven't already grabbed one.)

Lo Porto shared on March 14th that he'd received word that Emil had passed away in his sleep: "And now he is reunited with his wife."

"Dear Emil," he wrote. "I knew very little about you, but you changed my life. You gave me back my passion, and we shared that with the world. You'll be in my heart. I'll keep playing, thinking of how powerful music can be. You said I was your light, but you've been mine too. Bye, Emil."

If you needed a good cry today, hope that helped. And if you needed a reminder that humans can be wonderful and life can connect us in beautiful and mysterious ways, now you've got one.

Lo Porto says he will have a full version of "Dear Emil" up on YouTube soon. You can listen to it on Spotify as well.

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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