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I've always wanted to learn a musical instrument. Any musical instrument. I believe it would help me relax, but well, I just don't have the skills or talent.


Don't you just need time to practice?


Time is a luxury for me... and with my current financial situation, a tuition is out of the question. In the first place, I have only two instruments at my home: a recorder and a guitar. The recorder just sounds obnoxious to the people living with me, and the guitar... Well, my fingers simply won't cooperate to coordinate.


It's a guitar, not rocket science... How did you even get the guitar in the first place?


My father was fascinated with the instrument and wanted to learn it... He bought this guitar before our economy declined. So it is kind of a hand-me-down.


I see...


I wonder why that conversation suddenly came to mind. It was a conversation made online via text messages, as I remember. Indeed, the other person had deemed me someone who enjoyed learning new things, but I simply wanted more methods to escape from my otherwise grim reality.


I'm not going to pretend that I'm musically adept in any way, no, quite the opposite when it comes to instruments, really. I have little to no theoretical knowledge of music, let alone practical knowledge.


The situation at hand has brought with it a recurring wave of boredom and lethargy. I find myself staring vacantly into the ceilings or at my phone screen, devoid of any expressions. Everything I tried doing seemed to have become more and more obsolete.

I feel blank.


I tried reading, yet I couldn't find myself immersed within the worlds written in the books. I tried writing, yet my mind was empty and blank as to what I could write. Frankly, such was because of the pressure instilled into me by my mother's relative, that I had to find a way to increase my family's revenue somehow while my family's income was frozen during this time. The argument she put forward was that I was the eldest son of the family and as such, I had to be take responsibility in helping my younger siblings and my parents financially. I suddenly tried looking for ways to turn that hobby into a career, a means to get some money to lighten my family's loads, yet the more I research, the blanker my mind became, and I couldn't bring myself up to write. Nothing I do seemed to connect with what I want to do or what I stand for as a human being with his own personality. I am gradually turning into a boring business-oriented human drunk in delusion and immersed in the illusion that somehow my life could become better, somehow. That a miracle would occur, somehow. That I can go on to be someone my parents can be proud of, somehow. That I can pay back the treats and good deeds my father's relatives had shown me, somehow.


At this moment in time, I gradually regained soberness. Reality then crashed down on me like a train wreck.


I am not anyone special.

She is right, I won't be able to support my family.

A disappointment of a son, the eldest, no less.

I won't be able to support my family.

I will simply be another dead weight.


Simply pathetic.


I was lost in a limbo of uncertainty. Staggering around the house looking for activities. For more spirits to get me drunk again in delusion. At least I had that youthful bravado while I was drunk. At least I needn't let the gray, monotonous business side of writing impede me from doing what I enjoyed doing. At least I could drown out all the naysayers to enter into a trance, into a world of my own, once again.


I then saw the guitar case my father had left in this house. My brother had used it to practice and complete his music assignments. I didn't use it much as I chose arts & crafts over music; they were optional lessons in my school which I had to choose to take, I wasn't any good in any of them, so I simply chose the lesser of two evils. For lack of anything better to do, I installed an application that would help me practice that guitar, I would never once dream of making a career from the guitar, as I wasn't any good at it. Such was why it was perfect.


I started from the basics, from picking string by string, to strumming chords in succession. I made it a habit to at least practice 10 minutes a day, and I had improved by miles since I started, though there's nothing particularly praiseworthy about my plays either; they were amateurish at best. However, that didn't stop me from being able to reenter that world of mine again, disregarding any and all outside interference. It was just me and the guitar.


I needn't fret for the future while adjusting the frets. Every track I practice is a distraction despite the traction, or lack thereof, it garnered. I no longer feel high-strung while I pluck on the strings. I have found myself a new hobby, and it in turn, rekindled all my other hobbies. It was a breath of fresh air I desperately needed. It flushed out all the tedious systems of the world, if only momentarily.


In time, of course, I will have to be responsible and I will have to find a way to make ends meet, to get a job, get a stable income, support my family, pay my taxes... Grow up.


But that time is evidently not now, and with that acceptance in mind, I continued practicing the guitar, strumming and plucking away with nary a worry or care of the world around me, nodding along to the notes that vibrated from its strings. With this, I have inherited one of my father's many hobbies, and allowed myself to, once again, be drunk in delusion. Immersed in the illusion that life will only get better from here on out.


"No need to be running down today...

...Sore hands are a little price to pay,

Lay back, let the guitar lead the way..."

-The Yousicians (Robot City)

April 18, 2020 12:47

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1 comment

Joy Saker
02:51 May 01, 2020

Hi Ethernia, I enjoyed this young man's avoidance of his responsibilities, losing himself in what little music he could create rather than step up to reality. Love the use of language - the paragraph with the dual use of 'frets' was a delight, and the wistful 'somehow', as he waited for fate or life to transform him with no effort on his part, was poignant at the same time as I wanted to take him by the ears and shake him up a bit. Well done if you can get a reaction like that from a reader. I think we all recognize ourselves when y...


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