Friday, January 27, 2017
Magdalena Ball - City Child 5 - Run, Catch, Kiss
Run, Catch, Kiss
I knew a musician once. His eyes were a dull brown, hidden besides the thickest glasses. He was crude and impossible, but he played guitar like a demon.
I was young enough to be impractical; he elevated me to more than the usual esteem. I liked the air up there. I pretended to be with the band, singing badly in the back seat, allowing myself a pretense that felt cool as the summer that year was hot.
People warned me away. He had a bad reputation; was wild; crazy; nerdy; dirty; an outcast. I liked those adjectives more than I liked him. I wore his baggy sweatshirt to school, and didn’t care about the smell. I carried his hickies on my neck like jewelry.
I was only interested in one part of his body: not his mind, which swished obscenities and banged a club against the world. It was the fingers. Every string on his electric guitar vibrated with that touch, though it was all heavy metal and glammy head-bangers, not my taste at all. He worshipped at the altar of Ted Nugent. We hung out with Twisted Sister. It was vaguely dangerous. He got contacts, acted as though he had cat scratch fever, grew his hair long, and cultivated a pouty, distracted look, but when he played, the artifice fell from his face. I made mental notes and fell in love with my own unspoken witticisms.
Eventually good riffs weren’t enough. One day I got home after midnight, an arbitrary and shifting curfew, and got myself grounded. The punishment was that I couldn’t see the musician for two weeks. It was my own suggestion. I never went out with him again and he never forgave me, especially when I kissed his best friend.
This is my confession, whispered into a conch. I left it at the beach where I slowly grew up, breaking bonds along the boardwalk. The song is tuneless, frequencies of sound echoing back, a still life of the past, as ambient as the cry of seagulls; your own blood coursing.