Monday, November 16, 2009

But then an old guitar was all he could afford

"Let's skip school go to Steve's," said Rex, as he passed me on the stairs this morning. I was going up, first coffee in hand, post shower, bathrobe and wet hair, on my way to finish getting ready for work. He was going down, pre shower, on his way to get his first coffee. You know how guys are. They can get ready in one third the time we require.

Oh, sure, we could be out the door in 20 minutes too, but then all day people would make comments like, "Gee, you look tired today," which is what happened the last time I left the house without wearing mascara.

But I digress.

Have I mentioned that Rex, who was all those decades ago my high school boyfriend, is now my roommate?

Yes, I know, I haven't, Gentle Reader, and I am very sorry; I have no legitimate excuse. I have an illegitimate one, though, and it goes like this: So damn much has been happening since I left California that I don't seem to know where to begin, and instead remain paralyzed, unable to write. Today I'm breaking that hold, and jumping right into the middle, to tell you a story. I'll fill in the other bits later, as I go along.

It will likely come as no surprise to you but in high school I was the kind of girl who scared most of the boys away. I was taller and smarter than most of them, and not exactly what anyone would refer to as a shrinking violet, and my mother being the kind of mother who was all about the women's liberation, and not at all about the finishing school manners, never instructed me in the ways to avoid bowling over men.

Rex didn't seem to be scared of me, and I'm not sure why. Wasn't sure then, still not sure now, because he actually is the shrinking violet type, man version. He had this way about him, though, when he walked down the halls at school, or into a classroom, that gave the impression that he didn't give a rat's ass what any of the other kids thought about him. Which, if you remember anything about high school, you know is no easy trick to pull off.

He didn't do it in a badass, don't-fuck-with-me sort of James Dean way, but in more of a Walter Mitty sort of way, which at first made me curious, then interested, and then the next thing I knew I was out of that dress.

Still not sure how that happened, exactly.

Anyway, the coolest thing about Rex was that he had a 1972 Rickenbacker bass, and oh, man, he knew how to use it. And it was badass. I had a somewhat less badass Ibanez electric guitar, which until then I had only played in my bedroom, plugged into my Toshiba stereo. (Blew the speakers playing Planet Claire.) So it was love at guitar sight, and we spent most of our grade 13 afternoons at his house, trying without much success to learn Rush and Saga songs, and when we tired of that, playing Smoke On The Water.

If you grew up in Ontario during the years when there was still grade 13 you probably remember that as soon as you turned 18 you could sign yourself out of school without your parents' permission. Our high school was in a one horse town called Beamsville; anything was more interesting than what was there, and Toronto, the big city an hour down the highway, was the most interesting of all. We used to skip school, drive to Toronto, and hang out all day at Steve's Music Store on Queen Street. We couldn't afford to buy anything other than Steve's guitar picks, and maybe some strings now and then, but it didn't matter. Just being there, in that place, in that city, was enough.

I still have some of those picks, but I sold the electric guitar and I'm still regretting it. I have an Ibanez acoustic, though, and last weekend Rex and I went to Steve's and I bought a little Roland amp and a pickup, and we've been playing every night since then.

Oh yeah, he's still got it. The Rickenbacker, I mean.

In the next story, Sass deals with a New Divide.

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Blogger Blundering American said...

You don't need an excuse. As a wise blogger once told me, "It's your blog." :)

Blogger Tracy Lynn said...

Welcome back, dude.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to quote your post in my blog. It can?
And you et an account on Twitter?


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