I got myself an electric guitar. I'd always wanted one as a teenager. I never really stopped wanting one.
I bought one online several weeks ago. When it was delivered to the doorstep, my heart was pounding. I ripped open the packaging, set it aside, and planned to play it that night once I had gotten all the responsibilities of the day over with. That afternoon, I was cutting some dried fruit with a dull steak knife (bad idea) which slipped onto my finger. It tore open my fingernail so deep that it even ripped into the skin underneath. As blood came rushing up to the surface, the first thought I had before "Should I call 911?" was "Now I can't play my new guitar!" This week it finished healing so I finally got to play. I had taken a semester of guitar in college and I used to have a classical guitar, so I can do some basic chords.
All the music that influenced Gen X in our teenage years is still near to me. The songs became threads in the fabric of who I am. As a teenager, I'd allow myself one new CD per paycheck from my minimum wage jobs. After picking up a new CD at the mall and bringing it home, I'd play the cd for the first time and I'd look at the lyrics and drink them in like poetry. I remember the rush I'd get from the smell of the paper the lyrics were printed on. It was something like the smell of fresh cut grass after the lawn mower has just been put away, or when coffee beans are just coming out of the grinder, or maybe something like the chemicals we used in high school photography class back when pictures had to be developed in dark rooms and digital photos weren't part of our vernacular....
That is what inspired me. That is why I wanted to play the guitar - to be a part of all that.
U2 was my favorite band then, and still is now. Tonight, when the sun goes down, I'm going to take out the sheet music to The Joshua Tree. These songs were the background music to my life, and to the lives of so many Gen Xers. Tonight I'm going to play the songs I have loved with all the intensity that I felt when I heard them for the first time, the second time, and even the thousandth time.
(c) 2011 photography and writing by Chloe - all rights reserved