Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Long-awaited, highly-anticipated end to my musical career (Part II)
Part II. 

As that new group started to expand, however, those old insecurities began to resurface. Our interests expanded beyond watching horror movies and listening to music to actually playing music. I had some pretty hardcore Nam flashbacks at the point, only instead of Charlie, I saw Tuba players and John Phillip Sousa flipping me the bird. We had a number of guitar players in the group and one guy who was willing to play the drums, a girl who could sing and that’s where I saw my opening. Despite having no musical talent whatsoever or really understanding the instrument at all, I would make myself instrumental (BAM!) to the group by becoming a bass player.
                Anyway, so I got the bass, formed a band with some friends and we immediately went nowhere. Before the band began though, I remember another guy in our circle wanted to get a bass too and I stopped just short of making a voodoo doll of him and poking it in the arms each night. I guess you could say I had some mild-to-severe abandonment issues. I was scared of being replaced and I hoped and hoped and hoped that he’d find another calling. Like the kazoo. Or computer programming.
               He got the bass but we started seeing less and less of him when relationship drama kicked up between him and another friend’s girlfriend. At the time it was sort of a relief, but in hindsight, I feel guilty about how I mentally reacted to the situation, even if I never came out and expressed those insane feelings to anyone.
                Eventually, that band thing stopped being a thing and then so did high school. During my college years I found myself in another band, but not because I felt like I had to be. A different friend needed a bass player and I fit that description by the skin of my teeth. Luckily for myself and everyone involved, I was in a better place mentally and had my abandonment issues mostly in check.
                I made peace with the fact that I wasn’t a musician and eventually someone who was would likely come along and replace me and I was OK with it. I was never officially kicked out of that band, but as time passed my role was rightfully diminished to occasional lyricist and essentially a full time chimpanzee who was being taught sign language. Other people did all the hard parts and I just showed up and tried to mimic what they were doing and was occasionally handed a banana.                                Availability and commitment issues eventually broke up that band, but we had a lot of fun with it while it lasted, which I guess is the exact point. Isn’t having fun the reason most normal people pick up instruments? Not because of some insane fear of getting left behind? After a few years of this blog, normal shouldn't ever be expected.       
              And that was that. My last bass and amp occupied a spot in my office, gathering dust. I didn't join any more bands and I never played outside of occasionally, picking it up and floundering my way through the only two songs I remembered: “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes, a song without any actually bass guitar in it, I believe, and part of the opening of “London Calling” by The Clash. As long as I held on to the gear, it was like I just kept adding ellipses instead of an honest-to-god single period. That changed on Saturday. Not only did I erase all the ellipses and just put down the lone period, I also did the fancy three-hashtags thing that journalists do to indicate when a story is over. My musical career is now officially over.
             On to the next. 

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