Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Punk's Song

On a winters' day in 1982 she knocked on the door of the basement apartment.  An old man with a graying uncombed afro opened the door. She looked past him to a guitar case. He nodded to her.

"I expected you'd want that one day. It took a while but I realized it wasn't ever mine to strum, Liz."
"Yeah and it was awhile before I decided I wanted the thing. Lincoln"
"Eh. I was always a better drummer than a strummer. Since you here if you got a song in you might as well."
"Well there is this song me and my sis keep comin' back to on our days off."

There was a time I looked up to her old man, but in the days before I gathered my courage he got plain mean. I was born just before he got old, back when he still had hope. Back when he thought he could still do if not all of the things he wanted to do as a kid, most of them. He and Lincoln played in a band way back when. At first they were a blues outfit but Pa learned how to keep a quick rhythm. He used to play his old records. In my early days I can't say it didn't appeal to me, but those were my early days.  They never made it big but they started getting respect in this town. He met my mom in those days.  I never met her, or at least I don't remember meeting her. 

It was after the big bopper died but before Woodstock, when the band started making a name for and itself well you know the story. Everybody liked Pa but back then he mostly just liked playin' while everybody else had dreams of getting rich.  He was good but they thought they could find someone better and at first he was okay with it. They were his friends he wanted them to do well, and he thought even if he wasn't in the big leagues with them he could find an audience. The town was different back then. Plenty of clubs lined main-street. 

Time destroys everything. It destroyed this town and it destroyed my Dad. He the clubs started closing and he never got the gigs he thought.  He kept trying though.  Mostly he got recording session gigs. But he wanted to play in front of people. 

When I was a girl he was kind. He said that even he never got a huge crowd at least he could play for me. On my 6th birthday he got me a guitar of my own and taught me how to play Route 66.

When Pa first started getting mean she decided to skip town. Don't know why she didn't take me with her. I guess she thought he was still good with me.  That all changed in 72. The old band was going to break up for good. Thier lead guitarist had been busted on a heroin charge. They wanted to send him off and need some one so Lincoln came and knocked on my Pa's door. Asked to play one last show. Thought it might be good for him.  The lead didn't tell anybody where he kept is six string so dad used mine. And at least in that moment I was proud.  

But that one last show broke him.  When he played that last song he heard it as his last song. After that things were never the same. He never beat me but all the good in him seemed to vanish. Everyone else's success became his failure. Why not him. Why not him.  And it made him angry.  One night he got scary and I ran. I just hopped out of the window and hitched as far as I could. 

I wound up in Kentucky where I met Linda. I had made it to a dinner her Mom owned. I was hungry then. Real hungry. To be honest I was on my last legs and thinking' of thieving' the place. But Linda's mom. She saw me and just asked if I wanted pie. I told her I couldn't pay and she said it was alright. That night she offered me a job. It wasn't much but those few years were the best of my life or at least clearest. They weren't muddled by what was or could have been. They were good as they were. 

One night I got a letter from my Ma. Said my Pa had died and left his stuff to her. She didn't want it and gave it all to Lincoln. By this point the fire had gone out of even him and he needed whatever money he could get so he sold most of it. Mostly old clothes and his old rusty bed. 

It was a while. Linda had made it to a girls college. We just stayed up talkin', about who we wanted to be, who we were and who we had been. Making promises to each other. Before she left she made me promise to try to get my old six-sting back. Said it represented a part of me or something. I don't know but she is my friend. The closest thing I now have to kin and maybe she was right. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Facebook Comments

Note: These Comments are from all across this blog.