I begged my parents for years to get me a guitar for Christmas. Finally, after several plastic toys and disappointments, I got my first electric guitar when I was in the 2nd grade.
I started taking lessons soon after that, but stopped almost as quickly. I thought learning to play would be a lot easier than it was, though I did learn the basics before I quit.
A few years later, I got a better guitar. It got me interested in playing again, but that faded until an older friend picked it up and played a popular rock song. Watching him play it peeled my eyelids back and blew open my ears.
Up to that point, my guitar lessons had been basic and boring, which made me think learning the guitar was an exercise in masochism. It hadn't occurred to me that I could actually learn to play songs that I listened to.
Soon after that I started taking lessons based in rock and roll. However, my lessons quickly turned into me bringing in CDs and having my instructor figure out songs, and writing them out in tablature. I was learning nothing about technique or theory. Soon, I realized I could play by ear, and my lessons became a waste of money.
So, I quit and started a punk rock band, and I've sucked at the guitar ever since.
For the last four years I've been looking for a specific guitar that is only sold in a handful of stores throughout the world. They are handcrafted guitars that sound like what I imagine God's voice is like: big and chilling.
Over the holidays I was in Brooklyn visiting my old band mate and some friends.
We walked into a guitar shop around the corner from his apartment, and stumbled upon several of the guitars I have been searching for.
I stared at the guitars in silent reverie for a minute and then gently raked my hand across the strings. I didn't pick one up, didn't plug one in. I just admired them, and then left.
That basically sums up my life in music, and my life in general.