From a writing prompt…
The following happened when I was given a writing prompt last night in my writing workshop. We were asked to choose an object, event or place and write a paragraph or two about what it says about a character. And to think about what things can (or can’t) tell us about a person.
It sits there silently and without the possibility of independent motion. A yellow thread weaves around its curved body avoiding the gold hardware. One latch is broken and a piece of cheetah print fabric peaks through alongside a metal end of an unclipped string: a sign of something done in haste or indifference. The scratches were put there by theater doors and van seats. The smudges from sweaty fingers and the leftover adhesive of airline tags: Seattle to New York. New York to London. London to Berlin. No clear return trip home.
Colorful insignias and stickers cover its exterior: JamisonParker, Bon Jovi, Broke City, The Matches, Peachcake, Billy Talent, and other band names that have mostly faded into the obscurity of an ever-changing scene. The onlooker is allowed a glimpse at the musical taste of the owner. Or at least what she was listening to when the case was purchased.
If one were to peak inside, open the guitar case, and gaze upon the instrument inside, what would an acoustic guitar in nearly pristine condition, oily buildup on only the first five frets of the strings, and no scratches on the body say? Would one call it an unloved second guitar and focus on the life of the instrument? Or would one see the reflection of a girl accustomed to a musical life on the road but in a managerial role rather than an instrumental one? Does the story lie in the reflection of the onlooker or upon on the reflective surface?
There is a black bandanna tied around the handle. Its edges tattered and torn from summer days spent on cement festival grounds. Personified by old sweat, residue of beers chugged, and forgotten proposals. Is it just a guitar case and a list of aesthetic accessories or is it a biography free of text and too many emotional details? The girl carrying it tells a story silently just by the case in her hand. Just by choosing to present this piece of herself to the public.