Someone had modified a Stratocaster to look like Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Lenny”—the guitar he named after his wife. Maple neck. Rosewood fingerboard. Mandolin inlay behind the bridge. Mahogany over sunburst finish. I had to have it.
Though cheaper than an authentic replica, I still maxed out the Visa. But I know what I’m doing—sometimes the world just cries out for something big and uncompromising.
I called Chrissie on the way to the bus. She was unimpressed.
Home, I rubbed Lenny shiny with a diaper, plugged in, and strummed a big fat G. It shimmied the whole apartment. I’d never known love like that before; everything was going to be okay.
Seems like every time I walk out the door to a gig or practice, the baby’s crying. I can tell Chrissie wishes I’d just give it up. I think what remained of her belief in my music career died with our Visa. I pretend like everything is exactly the way it should be. That I know what I’m doing. That normal people live like this. A lot of the time I’m thinking that when the band starts making money, I’m never eating chicken noodle soup again.
Chrissie wants a bigger place, wants the baby to have her own room, which is code for she wants me to go back to giving lessons at the music store. But I can’t. Time mocks me there; on stage, time is a shallow pool of rainwater being slurped up by the sun.
Sometimes after gigs I can’t sleep. My body hums and stomps, a bandstand in my chest. I think about the future and my mind races. To settle down, I go out to the living room and pick up Lenny. I sit there in the dark, playing lines so sweet they’d break your heart.
Benjamin Roesch: I am a novelist and short story writer living in Burlington, Vermont. My story “People Done Crazier Things for Love Ain’t They?” was featured in the summer, 2011 issue of Brilliant Corners and I am a recent attendee of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference where I read for thirty seconds in the prestigious Little Theater to a very small, but enthusiastic crowd. I blog at benjaminroesch.com