File this one under: if you know, you know.
Went guitar shopping today. I had gone to the store (Manchester Music Mill–holy crap, this place is awesome) thinking I’d pick up something modest and a tiny amp to play at home. There were a couple of reasonably priced Jazzmasters on sale, and it’s legit been four or five years since I’ve plugged in, so the voice in my head was steering me towards the budget section.
I tried a few of the smaller, lighter instruments and kept finding myself back in the heavier section. One of the salespeople was super nice and encouraged me to try as many as I liked, and he didn’t make a peep when I plugged in and sounded like garbage. (This is huge; music and especially guitar store employees are stereotypically pretty arch–think that IT guy skit from SNL but with facial hair and maybe a ponytail.)
By fifteen or twenty minutes in I was pretty giddy. “This is such a great place,” I said to the guy. “Christ, it’s been so long…your prices are cheaper in here than online. I think I can take a step up.”
He told me that he’d be happy to work with my budget and see where we could take some more money off. Enter the red Gibson.
When I plugged in and found the right gain setting then just sat there and let it feed back, I felt this twin wave of joy and disappointment. Joy that I’d found that sound again–that I made that sound again, that howl and wave that I can always get my head in and out of, that somehow I would want to stand in for my actual voice and words most of the time. That noise. That is who I am.
But disappointment, a sharp jab of sadness, that I had willingly deprived myself of this feeling for so long. Because…I couldn’t spare the time? I wouldn’t spare the time? I thought I had nothing left to share? I don’t know. I let that howl hang out in the air for someone else to grab and get inside of for way too long. Never again. It’s mine.
I hit an E5 at seven and pushed the Gibson towards the amplifier. Some dude across the room took a step back, turned his head. I got inside of that noise and felt the guitar in my hands, and then my eyes teared up.
Goddamn it is good to be home. It is so fucking good.