Bootsy Collins

June 14, 2011
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Right now, I am an ordinary girl
Unexceptional in every way
My bass is one of the millions made everyday
Churned out at the Fender factory in Mexico
To inspire the next era of the greats
And to make an easy six hundred dollars
My cheap earbuds are flimsy pieces of plastic
They find me and my bass is in my lap
A calloused finger pushes play
I am electric
Music flows through my fingers
The entrancing tones envelop the room
Hammer-ons are quick as a winter storm
And I am invincible
The perfect timing is embedded in my warped fingertips, the arches and loops of my fingerprints spiraling into F and A notes
As if they’d been there all along
Crescendo after crescendo produces smooth, sultry tones
That are broken and raw, caramel and wonderful
The red, blistered skin guides riveted metal to a state of complete awareness
I am transforming
I am Bootsy Collins
The low frequencies carry me far away from Comanche Court
Into a dimension where there is no earth or time, just the rosewood elixir that is fueling my inspired fingers
My senses are intoxicated
They are ingesting the sweet, tangy air near my fingers
My eyes see not a purple bedroom full of work to be done, but an awe inspiring halo of silver frets meeting inflamed crimson flesh
My mouth hungers for the rich harmony I am producing, wishing it could pickle it into a memory to consume in the winter of verb conjugations and burning leg muscles
My nose senses the sweat and blood from my once beautiful hands, wondering how something can be so destructive and pure all at once
My skin is pitiless to the burning of my searing hands and only feels my absolute joy and escalation to a place known only to four strings and I
My ears are wearing themselves out, running to catch every vivacious, magnetic note before they dissolve into a breathy wisp, to dwell in the realm between my hand and my instrument forever
I am delirious
I am Bootsy Collins
My fingers are a force all their own
Too powerful to be ignored and capable of taking journeys that I can only dream of as slide up and down the frets
The notes I give life to from a piece of cold metal reach for the 3red dimension and are
Burgundy, auburn and mauve
They reverberate everywhere, leaving in their path a vast and horrifying loveliness
I can no longer be overlooked
I am Bootsy Collins
The song speeds up, faster and faster, a challenge to my dexterity
My fingers are otherworldly
Running over rosewood, racing for perfect
Pitch, tempo, timing
The pure white of my hands and the smoky neck create a combination so incredibly beautiful, and only understood by those that have visited the space between the frets and strings
The bass dimension is not forever
Only my precious rhythms can stay there, as they have yet to taste the forbidden fruit
The last striking measures linger, like the last bit of summer sun
“Short Skirt/Long Jacket” ends abruptly and I am back
To an afternoon of Spanish tests and geometry proofs
My fingers no longer provide beautiful music, but will type in Rules for Writers answers
My bass is now a solid piece of wood and metal, to sit idle and watch me finish my lab report
But for three minutes and twenty four seconds
I was Bootsy Collins
And I was extraordinary

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