Darkness enveloped the room as my mother flipped the light switch after a short exchange of rehearsed “good nights,” and “I love yous.” Her footsteps trailed off to her bed right beside where my sister and I laid on the ground. My small hands gripped the soft blankets around me as I tossed and turned, looking for any motivation to try and get a goodnights rest. After a war well fought between me and sleep, I had won, triumphantly, albeit immaturely, deciding in my mind that a big bad six-year-old like myself didn’t need something as unimportant as sleep.
My mind set, I sat up from the usual makeshift bed my mother had made for us on the ground beside where she slept. Eyes shifting over the maroon walls and old furniture in the room uncontrollably and eagerly looking for something that would entertain me. My eyelids slowly got heavier and heavier as I realized the war I fought so hard to win wasn’t over, and that if I was going to beat this needless sleep it was necessary to find something, anything to help me stay awake! Oddly enough the thing that caught my attention wasn’t something my sporadic eyes saw, instead it was something I heard. A sweet and warm melodious sound being muffled slightly by the thin walls between me and the source.
Then, my mind was made. It would be my mission to find the source of these amazing tones. I looked to my right as I lay on my back to see my sister soundly slumbering next to me. This was my chance! If I could just make it to the door right at my feet, I would be home free!
I slowly rose from the floor as quietly as possible, my small body allowed me a degree of stealth that I would find much harder earned now. My small feet slowly and quietly tip toed across the loudly colored carpet of the New York City apartment. That amazing noise could still be heard, calling me to cure the furious curiosity that was inside me.
Then, I finally had reached the door. A smile cut across my face before I looked back towards the bed where my mother was resting to make sure she wouldn’t intercept me. My short arms shot out fervently at the golden door handle. Slowly but surely, I opened the door, trying my hardest to not allow the usually squeak of ungreased hinges to be heard. The light from the hallway began entering the room, and as it did, that beautiful noise came along with it, clearer and even more beautiful than before. My excitement grew and grew as my ears were filled with the melodic notes. More of my small teeth showing with my smile getting wider.
Suddenly, the short preview of my goal was cut short as the door slammed over me and familiar feeling arms wrapped around me from behind. I let out a loud and meaningful sigh as I was firmly placed back on the blankets on the ground and tucked in.
“Go to sleep Pa,” My mother said in a commanding voice before moving back to her bed.
I laid there arms crossed, pouting as the tantalizing noise could still be heard through the walls. Teasing me. Calling me. There wasn’t a chance that I was giving up. Not after coming so close. So instead of listening to my mother’s words, I waited for my opportunity to finally get what I wanted. It was only a matter of time.
Sleep was no longer a threat to me. Just the thought of the muffled notes had made me giddy with excitement. It was only a few minutes before my final opportunity came. The deep even breaths of my sleeping mother could be heard and my sister still lay drooling beside me. I got up again with more stealth this time than the last if that was possible. I made my way to the door my brow furrowed in concentration as I reached for the door handle once more. The light shined through the crack again, the sound closely following. I was careful this time, not allowing the light to wake up my mother, I slyly squeezed my body through the small gap I had allowed myself before softly closing the door behind me.
Finally, I had made it, my goal was in arms reach and the grin on my face reflected that. My legs suddenly directed me down the short hallway rapidly. A trip that would usually take less than five seconds seemed to take a life time. Then I finally reached my living room doorway, and I saw it. The source of the sound, a small black box with a number of various knobs on it and a wire leading to the wall behind, but there was another wire too. My eyes followed it before resting on a work of art in the form of a guitar. Being held and played expertly by dark hands that belonged to my father. His eyes squinted as he smiled at me.
“Wanna play?” my astonished grin turned into an ecstatic wide smile brighter than any I had before.
I jumped on the shabby sofa in excitement before my dad handed me his guitar. It was heavy and a little too bulky, my small hands unable to wrap around the neck enough to fret the low strings but it didn’t matter, it felt right. The amateur and childish playing that came out of the amplifier beside the couch was horrific and deaf inducing but it somehow made my father and I beam in delight. It was only within a few moments of my disgusting display of musicianship before my mother angrily came into the room and placed me securely into the bed once more. This time though I wasn’t angry and I didn’t try to fight the sleep. Instead I welcomed it. Excitedly looking forward to the next day which held the possibility of continuing the new obsession that had sparked within me.
I wouldn’t again get the chance to really play the guitar until I was fifteen years old. But this moment spawned in me an ever growing and uncanny obsession with the guitar which can only be defined by the word passion. The guitar has led to every positive goal and achievement that has ever meant anything to me and it consumes my life in such an amazing way. The strange and amazing feeling of completeness I received from the simple act of amateurly playing the guitar is one that I will never be able to accurately describe, but it is one that I hope everyone on earth gets to experience at some point in their life.