LIFE’S WONDERS PRAISED IN SUGGESTIVE, ODDBALL, AND NONSENSE WAYS
As a counterpoint to my usual cynical antics, I’ve committed myself to a weekly, year-long discussion of my life’s joys. But, never one for the more traditional approaches, I intend to keep things a little off side, a tad outlandish, and always one foot outside of polite company.
//LEARNING TO PLAY AN INSTRUMENT//
I make a lot of noise in my spare time. How my wife puts up with it, I’ll never know.
Then again, my parents had it far worse – I made a lot more noise as a teenager. No, I didn’t grunt and growl like you’re probably thinking (though maybe some of my adolescent caterwauling amounts to as much.)
In actual fact, the noise I refer to comes from a guitar amp, barfing forth from whichever guitar at that point in time I happen to be bludgeoning to death with a guitar pick. And do I crank that amp to 11, eardrums be damned?
No. Are you nuts? It’s set at about 1.5. Turns out, you don’t need a concert hall amp when you’re only playing to an audience of one (that audience being your own reflection in the mirror as you power stance your way through pop punk hits). Still, I bought the big amp because it looked cool, and at seventeen that pretty much topped my priorities. That I could barely turn it on without my brain bleeding out my ears didn’t matter. I was too “punk rawk” to care.
These days, I’m not so punk rock. I probably wasn’t back then, either, come to think of it. Nevertheless, I do still play the guitar on a regular basis. Actually, playing the guitar is something of a nervous tick of mine. It helps me think. Sometimes it even calms me down. At the very least it gives me something productive to do while waiting for my wife to return home from work and entertain me with her tales of ESL adventure and skulduggery.
For this, you can thank my parents. I wasn’t the easiest kid to raise. God knows, while my cousins were learning to play the violin and being all around classy little children, I was off causing trouble . . . or just being a dumbass. Probably the latter. Anyway, what I’m saying is that I owe my parents. They gave me many things, but making it possible for me to learn to play an instrument (i.e. guitar lessons every Saturday for three years) has benefited me well into adulthood.
As a teenager I played my guitar loud and incessantly. And I did not make beautiful music. There were no recitals for me, no talent shows, no family get-togethers where I plucked away at a classically inspired rendition of Tchaikovsky’s greatest hits.
What I made was noise. And I loved it.
I still do.
Thank my parents next time you see them. And give your condolences to my wife.
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