Friday, October 16, 2009

The rest of the dulcimer tale

Still cheating today and not writing anything new. But here's the rest of the story.

My teacher opens the door of Studio 4. I wonder why guys with hair to their butts always have such shiny, healthy and beautiful locks. I feel a little nervous AND I have forgotten my reading glasses…I suspect the instructor won’t have a spare pair laying around so I don’t even ask.

We chat just a bit about the cancellation, how nice it is out, how I’m liking the dulcimer as I unzip the case, find my picks and put my music on the stand. I have this little square of non-slip rubber shelf liner I have been using to keep the instrument from sliding on my leg and he kind of picks it up and looks at it in a puzzled fashion. I want to explain, hey, this is the housewife version but I feel a little embarrassed and realize again what an “uncool” music student I am. There is probably some version of this made out of distressed leather with burned in peace signs but I don’t have one, don’t know where to find one and have just made do.

“OK, let’s see what you’ve learned,” my instructor Jack says. Did I mention that Jack is very cool. Not only does he have long hair but he has ripped clothes AND a tattoo AND an earring. I start playing my first song. I am pretty good at picking and he sort of sits up and listens and then starts paying close attention. I guess he has recognized I am serious uncool musician wannabe. He makes a few corrections to the way I place my fingers. I explain I have some arthritis in my thumb and can’t extend it very well. I’m sure he experiences this problem a lot with his students because after several long moments he suggests alternative ways for me to use my fingers instead.

So I start playing the second song and he picks up his banjo and starts playing along and it is SO COOL ! We play really loudly. I get all excited and loose my place and have to start over but it is SO COOL ! He says he likes my “picking style”. He says something like “wow, you have caught onto this really fast, are you bored with it yet?” and he says it really loud so I know that all the other kids in the hall have heard it.

I feel very proud. We go through some other songs that I don’t know at all but it is so fun and then he plays the banjo for me and says he thinks I would like learning that… it is fast and fun and has high energy. We play the second song together again and it is still SO COOL ! I think I want to start a band. I think I want to rip my jeans, get a tattoo, buy a cowboy hat and play music all day long.

My lesson is over. We talk about next week and he smiles and says “good job, think about the banjo” and I walk out. Hey, was I supposed to get a sticker or something? Isn’t that what they do with music students when they do a good job? It’s OK, I am too excited about playing a duet to care much a sticker.

The hall is still filled with kids. I see them looking enviously at my neat dulcimer case. I know they have heard me play a duet with the banjo. They are all impressed. They think I am cool. I can just tell.

One girl smiles at me. OK, it seems like a smirk but I think she just can’t smile well. I wonder if she wants to be friends and hang out and play music together. Maybe we can get a tattoo together… one of us “Best” and the other “Friends” or something like that. I wonder if her Mom will let us hang out… after all I even have my drivers license.

And, hey, it’s just another day in the life of a middle-aged empty nester with “Dulc-heimers” disease.


Allie said...

I love this story. I want to play an instrument, but I can't even clap my hands right to the beat.

Terri and Bob said...

I love the dulcimer. My cousin Chris makes them and violins.

I love your story.

Don't forget the earring. I am pretty sure you need one to be a cool musician.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Great little short story! Jenny, do you really play the dulcimer? I don't even know what it'll be looking it up on google when I leave your blog.

Congrats to you give away winner!

PⒿ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

Good and funny and totally identifiable for me at this point, Matlock.

I played banjo for a short time and then gave it to my stringed instrument brother. But, if you bring your dulcimer, I'll bring my uke....and we can have a skype jam session. And I have tattoos.

Oh yeah!!