favorite toys



now playing: lifehouse, “simon”

when i was a kid (and i mean kid – barely old enough to remember this, but i remember it nonetheless), i lived in a small apartment with my mom and dad and my baby brother – my mom was working at this place adjacent to it, if i remember correctly, but all those kinds of details are a blur to me now.

here’s what i do remember.

my dad had gotten me a toy guitar – it was as big as i was, and it was made of wood, not plastic, and it had real strings on it. hell, it might not have been a toy, i don’t know. he had given me one later in life that he’d found in a house that he was working in that was a real one, but it didn’t have any strings on it. at this point in my life, i’m almost sure it was a martin 00-17 or 000-17, because many years later when i owned one, it felt instantly familiar…the color of the wood, the feel of the neck…and i remembered that guitar that my dad found in the house in memphis the minute i played it.

but anyway, this guitar that he’d gotten me when i was still essentially a toddler…it did feel to me, at the time, that it was as big as i was, and i thought it was indestructible.

anyway, to this day, i still don’t know why i did this. all i know was that i did it, and i got my ass beat for it.

(maybe it says something about human nature that we still analyze our motives for things that we did as tiny children, even decades later, but i digress…)

the guitar was laying on the sofa. and i was climbing on the sofa, which was up against a wall of the apartment, and i managed to get up onto the back of the sofa and i was standing on the back of the sofa, with my back against the wall.

i sidestepped over to the part of the back of the sofa that was right above the guitar, and i jumped off the back of the sofa and extended my legs and landed, ass-first, on my favorite toy…i felt the top of it crunch under me, and i laughed.

i was sitting in a pile of splinters that used to be my guitar, and i was laughing. i don’t know why i thought it was funny…maybe the way it felt when i landed on it, i don’t know. but i had just succeeded in destroying my guitar, and i had no clue why i’d done it.

so, obvious ending…dad grabs me from the wreckage and beats my ass, asks why i did it and i said i didn’t know, which probably only pissed him off more – after all, adults assume that all actions have logical motivations, right?

i know i do…

i find myself remembering this tonight, though, and for the longest time i wasn’t sure why it had occured to me…but i think there’s a parable in that story, where it pertains to my life as it’s going right now.

in some ways, i feel as though right now i’m suspended in mid-air, having just jumped from the back of the sofa…and my ass is careening through the air toward something that, in moments, will be destroyed on impact as a result of my actions, and i’m powerless to stop it from happening, now that my feet have left the point at which i still had other options.

now that i’ve jumped, my only option is to brace for the impact.

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