After years of thinking to myself “I’d really like to learn to play an instrument,” I finally said it out loud to Danielle a few days after New Year’s.
“What instrument?” she said.
“I don’t know, maybe guitar or something.”
“I’ll teach you guitar.”
She said it like it was nothing, but it wasn’t. She is a magical dreams-becoming-reality fairy. I said “UM, OKAY” and a week or so later she gave me my first lesson. She taught me how to play a D chord, a D4, and an A. I played them in the order that she told me to and suddenly I had played the beginning of “Free Fallin'” and I was so excited I cried just a little.
We had another lesson about a week later, where we worked on switching chords and strumming. She let me borrow her precious guitar baby and I practiced almost every night for about two weeks. I started trying to learn “Free Fallin'” with a G instead of a D4 and started working my way though the Guitar Noise tutorial for “Horse With No Name.”
I can’t remember another experience with learning that has been quite like this. There’s a huge gap between understanding what I’m supposed to do and actually being able to do it. Maybe learning to ride a bike was similar? It feels foreign to my adult self and I’m fascinated by it.
On Thursday, I returned Danielle’s guitar to her. I thought I’d wait until Saturday morning, but on Friday after work I decided I couldn’t wait any longer. I headed down to Loud & Clear Music, where a nice guy named Memo showed me a bunch of guitars. He answered all my questions and volunteered lots of helpful information, and left me alone as needed to strum and compare. He also stood and stared at this guitar with me in total silence while I made faces at it for a thousand years. Then I said yes, okay, I’m buying this guitar.
I gave them an amount of money that is more than my current rent but less than my rent at my old house, and is comparable to what I would have to give my mechanic when something unfortunate has happened but things could still be much worse.
I felt a little queasy about spending so much on something that I really don’t need at all. When I got home I thought I might just turn right back around and return it, but I haven’t. I played around on it until I had to eat dinner, and then again until I went to bed.
And that’s where we are.