It was the 4th of July, and we were hanging out on Jen’s back patio and also doing a little swimming. By “we”, I mean myself, Jen, and her 60-something year old roommate who we will call Meg.
Jen’s phone died, so Sirius radio was no longer an option for the bluetooth speaker. No biggie – I synced my phone with the speaker and looked for an appropriate station on iHeart Radio. We settled on some classic rock station that had no commercials.
And that is when nostalgia kicked in for Meg.
She started talking about her ex-boyfriend (or maybe ex-husband?) and how he was in a band. And this band had a guitar player who was extremely averse to helping the other band members set up equipment for gigs.
“He would just set up his amp”, she said. “And then he’d plug in his guitar and start playing Stairway to Heaven while the other guys did the rest of the work.”
This is when I said “Oh, yeah – I remember that guy. I’ve seen him at Guitar Center before.”
Because, really. Anyone who has ever been in Guitar Center before has heard “that guy” playing Stairway. Or, worse, some Yngwie Malmsteen song.
Her reply made me realize I had just stepped into a huge bear trap. “Oh, no – I doubt you’ve seen him there because he passed away several years ago.”
Well, hell. Not only did my joke fail, but it triggered more memories from Meg.
“In fact, he died on the 4th of July. He drowned in Lake Travis because he had…”
I have to admit I tuned out by this time. I mean, I already stepped in the bear trap. But then Meg had to stick the knife in a little deeper and twist it sadistically by telling me that my lame attempt at humor happened to occur on the anniversary of his death.
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgivings. Or somesuch.
Feelings are intense
Words are trivial
So does the pain
Words are meaningless
– Depeche Mode, “Enjoy the Silence”