The Broken String

January 13, 2011
I didn’t really know what to say. The way the singled out B string coiled into a mess of depression. How could my favorite song do such a seemingly evil thing?

My guitar, Cloud, was lying on my bed hopelessly. With a frustrated grunt, I stuffed my face into my pillow. It wouldn’t be fixed for at least four days. With exams, I wouldn’t have the smallest slot of time to drive myself to the nearest repair shop.

I was a rough when it came to playing guitar. The nickname “Cloud” was attributed to the cluster of white scratches below the strings, on the pick guard, which wasn’t very guarded itself. Too many teen angst songs were most likely the culprit.

I got up and kicked off my blue slippers. My feet felt like they were suffocating in those things. I ran the balls of my feet over the cold hardwood floors of my bedroom, completing a very ungraceful twirl in the process.

I sighed and plopped down into my swivel chair that was sitting at my desk and put in my headphones, searching for a relief from the stressful thoughts running through my head. I put on my favorite song and closed my eyes.

Music was my only relief in my life. Home was far from perfect- Mom and Dad were going through a divorce, so Dad wasn’t living at home anymore. My mom was always quiet these days. Since I was an only child, it got pretty lonely around here.

When it comes to music, I feel like my mind works differently than others do. Every song plays out in my head, almost as my own person music video. Usually I’m in the center of it, which can really hurt sometimes- especially if it’s a song that really hits home. When I try to explain it to people, they stare at me like I’m crazy. But, I think it gives me a greater understanding of the music I play and hear.

Hours of studying and 57 songs later, I let myself crawl into bed and fall into a deep sleep as the songs from the past day echoed through my ears.

Each hour and a half between the eardrum piercing bells was pure agony- there was nothing like dead silence and endless pages of black and white to drive you insane. When the final ring sounded, I sighed in relief and drifted through the busy hallways with bliss. Second semester probably wouldn’t be much better than the first, but the thought of something new always gave me hope, hope of an escape.

I was emptying my backpack when I was suddenly slammed against the row of lockers in front of me. The typical person would have been terrified (or extremely p***ed), but my guess of who was the culprit was extremely correct. It was just my best friend, Katie. She was unquestionably and unnecessarily rough when she was messing around. I spent many hours questioning how healthy her state of mine was.

“We’re still on for tonight. Right, Iris?” she said with an eager smile as she toyed with the combination on her locker.

“I couldn’t ask for more.” I sighed and thought about the events that would be taking place tonight. As Katie and I would be at our monthly open mic night of the small dump of a café that we proudly called our hangout, my parents would be meeting with their lawyers in my dining room.

Katie and I rode the train home like we did every day, and walked to the apartment building neighboring my house.

“Katie, what happens if my parents decide to sell the house? If my Mom doesn’t wanna live here just the two of us…” I kicked a rock and let it fall through the hole of a sewer.

“Iris, we’ll always be friends. No matter what falls apart, we won’t.” She patted my back as I fought back tears. I haven’t cried once in the past few months. I feel like I’m the one who’s always expected to stand strong. But it’s hard to when you see your world collapsing around you.

Katie and I went separate ways up each of our steps. I eagerly ran upstairs and got ready for the night ahead of me. I spent half an hour styling my hair four different ways, and ended up going with a long braided ponytail. I took off my rectangle framed glasses and put in my contact that’s I put in only once in a blue moon.

I met Katie outside at 7:45, and we walked the three blocks to Lotta Java!, and saw the familiar faces that show up at this monthly event. When we walked inside, we took seats in the second row. A few minutes later, the lights dimmed and a soft applause came over the crowd.

One by one, different acts came on. Some people recited poems, some played piano, even a few comedians. It was the usual so-so performances, until someone came onstage that caught my eye.

He was tall with a skinny physique, scruffy blonde hair, and beautiful blue eyes. He was carrying a guitar with beautiful chocolate-brown wood, with deep scratches that gave it a distinct personality. He sat on the stool in front of the microphone and began to play an instrumental song. He didn’t use a pick, but was plucking each delicate note.

I closed my notes and listened distinctly. I could pick out each individual note as we played- E, A, D flat, E… I saw them form in my mind, and I felt the notes flow through me. The same feeling continued for the next three minutes, but then it ended. I opened my eyes and smiles, extremely impressed with the song. Compared to the rest of the crowd, I looked much more pleased, which is probably why he was able to pick me out.

His eyes met mine, and he smiled. I smiled, too. He might have thought I thought I was smiling at him, but he would have been wrong. I was really smiling at the guitar.

Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

SushiPoseur said...
Jan. 18, 2011 at 6:56 pm
I love this! Music can play such a powereful role in life and this story totally shows it. Good job :)
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback