When Nightmares End

The first day after the nightmares are over, Paul’s music comes purer and so much sweeter. On this morning he made a deal with a pawn shop owner who lent him a chair and an electric extension cord for his Pignose. All he had to do in return was play well enough so that people would pause in front of the shop’s display windows where fake Rolex’s and sometimes-real engagement rings were on sale, alongside boomboxes, gold neck chains, and other items young people might be interested in buying. Paul sucked in a deep breath of cold air, diagnosing the scents and tastes of the waking street, then removed his tired old Stratocaster from its battered case, plugged it into the little amp, and began gently stroking the strings, running a few chords and adjusting the tuning for the morning chill. From years of experience—lessons learned on mean streets of many cities and towns across America—he placed a couple of folding dollars and a few cents change in the open guitar case at his feet; a small amount of seed money was important to tease passersby to ante up even more; it was Paul’s living. Soon enough, his eyes were closed against the bright winter morning sun just edging over the building across the street, and from self satisfaction in the riffs and chords flowing from his Pignose, coursing along on ragged air currents and flowing like water across the sidewalk and pavement. His socks didn’t match but his blues were real; he played his soul and his heart, he played the sunshine and the warming air, he played the smells of the city and rustle of an old newspaper blowing by his feet, and most importantly, he played the emotions of the people who stopped to listen. Music, life, world, all perfect; it was always thus the first day after the nightmares ended.
Not much going on today; the move continues in fits and spurts as all the photos and artwork have been removed from the walls and, along with other small stuff, has been carried to the new house. The bedroom which we used as a tv room is now empty and there are once more lonely echoes in the place I’ve called home for 17 years. I will lie if I say I won’t miss it, especially the furry and feathered friends who have entertained me so graciously and well for 68 seasons.
Have a Thursday, my friends.

Published in: on August 25, 2011 at 11:23 am  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. My heart is sad too, my friend. I’ve liked your house on Echo Glen Road; especially its green porches.
    Lovely song and your story about Paul. Thank you for them.
    Last days of August are so beautiful in my corner of the universe; a bit cold, a bit rainy, and still sunny. I would like to stop them for ever.
    Please take care of yourself.

    • Thanks, Jola. I am now looking at the positives of leaving this house, but there will always be a thread tying me to this place.

      Hold these special days to your breast; they will live in your memory along with the smiles they bring.

      Have a great Friday, my friend. 🙂

      • Hurricane Irene is approaching to U. S.; I’m worried about you, my American friends. I know from TV that situation in your country is very serious now.
        It’s Friday, Ken. I guess that you are in your new house. Please take care of yourself and be careful.

      • Got into the new house Saturday night. Moving is tough! 🙂
        Irene weakened just enough so as not to kill many people on first impact; could have been much worse.
        Thanks, Jola. 🙂

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