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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Lost in the Chords


Write about a musician whose addiction is the music.


He sat surrounded by friends and family, the smell of fireworks and bug spray filling the air. An acoustic guitar in his hands, here on his place, his plot of land under his square mile of sky, in the shadow of the trees and the house he was building with his own two hands. He looked happy. He laughed and joked and entertained us all, before he ever played a note on that guitar.

But when his hands caressed the strings, he bowed his head. He opened his mouth and his heart poured out in front of the waiting crowd. He sang about this very night ten years ago, when she’d kissed him goodbye, and never fully returned. He was no longer here, not in this circle of family and friends, instead, he was there in the circle of her arms, reliving that last conversation, that last kiss, and wishing he had known.

The notes faded into the twilight, and in a moment he began another song, followed by another…filling the night air with music. Heads nodded, and feet tapped in rhythm with his tempo. Babies and Grandpas shared the joy that is his music, and we all laughed and sang along—some of us quietly, under our breath.

I watched his eyes, his hands, his face, as he pulled the music around him like a blanket, and lost himself in its folds. He needed no beer tonight, no cigarette, no starry sky or circle of friends. And like that beautiful young woman who never fully came back to him that hot July night a decade ago, he never completely returned to us until long after his guitar was quiet, and the conversation turned to other things.

The music had done it’s job, drawing him in, soothing his recurring nightmare for a few hours, and for that he was grateful.

So were we.

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