Location: marengo, il, United States

Monday, April 23, 2007

Early Gifts


The word travels muted, like a foghorn.




The pitch of the note modulates, rising to try a solo flight.


Tony darkens my doorway holding a new case of Corona, a bag of fresh limes and a large tub of imported diplomacy.

“What’s happening? What’s going on, my brother? Good to see you as always. Alright now!”

A flurry of hand motions, fist-pounding, knuckle-knocking, palm-slapping as well as yelps of joy. All of this hogs the remaining light with exuberant hugs. Each proclaim that the Good Times just arrived.

“Hand me a knife so I can slice one of these babies up. How the hell are you, man?”

In due time a tape recorder becomes a witness. Later on, it delivers honest sounds of beers, guitar and howlings at the moon.


A static fuzzy sound fades out but then returns.

“Judas priest, how you get this mother fucker…?”

Static sounds dot one edge of the scene.

A loud click leads off on a rhythmic four-chord progression. With eyes closed, Tony sways and sings.

“Mamma said, mamma said!”

For the next half-hour, music blossoms.

It is difficult, but if you stay focused you will find that no types or sorts of real musical talent rest for any length of time in or anywhere near the vicinity of my good pal, Tony. He cannot carry a loose tune halfway across an average room, not in a legal sense in any legal case on the docket (neither fact bother the man at all and he refuses to care).

Tony makes up lyrics. I make up melodies. He provides words while I provide tunes, and we jam for a while.

The tape rolls and records it all. Our occasion rates a second side of the tape to be recorded before trouble raises a voice.

(listen for the faint cries of David, who is five and lays sick in bed. He woke up complaining, so his loving mother confined him there before dashing off to spend her day at the market. Tony showed up around noon) <p>

(David groans between lines)


“Momma said, momma said!”

Tony always starts off singing that.

“Momma said, momma said!”


I accent with a hint of A minor before returning to the immense realm of the deep E7th.

“Momma said, my momma said…”


(slap-a-de-doody-whop on the strings)

David’s one-note tune competes and struggles to outlast the surfing bass tone which bolts from A to land dead-center in the key of my E.


After that brief but magical wave of music tumbled down from a height to crash and explode into flurries of tossed foam, the old guitar was content to lean and rest while smoke and a cold beer went to have a dance.

Tony trots down the staircase, looking for a urinal.

A voice bellows up the shaft.

“Sweet Jesus! Man, David done went and opened up all the Christmas presents!”

My tape recorder broke right after that, so more details are scarce. Besides, I have to go anyway -- the wife don’t trust me being alone much anymore.


Blogger Janus Torrell said...

Take it easy Harry, don't worry the Mrs.

1:02 AM  
Blogger Harry said...

I will, Janus, and I won't. Not after that mess.

1:05 PM  
Blogger The Fractal Cat said...

Beware of Friends bearing beers... Or simply welcome them.
I turned up at a workmates flat years ago with a six pack and a quater. We spent a while drinking and smoking when his wife came home - WITH her parents. They arrived just in time to hear me in the bathroom throwing up from to much smoke and drinking on an empty stomach..
The Silence could be heard for miles!

6:41 PM  
Blogger Harry said...

Bleh, it echoed.

1:03 AM  

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