Fingertips against the strings. That’s what I remember. The muffling sound of a thousand notes entering my ears, and going straight up to my head. From early in the morning, with the sun rising from the edge, to the most beautiful sunset in the beach, grandpa used to sing songs to me of the old Mexican masters, the true artists he called them: Los Panchos and Agustin Lara, those were his favorites. He didn’t play the guitar, he made it sing. And he sang along to it. It was like hearing a conversation between him and the mate-brown, black-back styled guitar. It was as old as time. Crafted in Spain, it crossed the Atlantic Ocean, all the way down to a God-forsaken small town (or at least felt like it), next to one of the most dangerous border cities of Mexico. I figured it must have been destiny to be in the same place it was. I asked my grandpa to teach me how to play it. To which he responded- “Little man, there’s no such thing as teaching someone how to play the guitar. It comes straight from the heart”. He played a string and said – “That’s a note. I don’t know how people call it, but it shouldn’t have a name. People tend to theorize music as if they were going to forget it.” And that’s the thing about music, it never leaves. Like a dim light in the shadows, he told me, music saved him when he was at his lowest. He traveled many places with his guitar, wrote a lot of stories and lived many more.  A moment later, he played 2 other strings, one after the other- “I can’t teach you, only it can.”- he said- “Listen to what it has to say, and you may find it knows more about you than yourself”. As a little 5-year-old, most of those words were heard but not understood. But as time goes by, and one grows old, everything starts to make sense. I learned all the notes from C to B, all the scales and theory I could find. As I bought many other guitars, I understood what he meant. I wasn’t just learning about music. Every song, every note I played, revealed something new. As if they were breaking a mask I had built on myself. Until one day, I found it again. That day, I came back to her like you go back to home after a long day. It was “her” from then on, like a person, because when I played that guitar, she talked. She sang about all these beautiful untold stories from the past to the future, as if she was writing history over time itself. And I… well, I listened.

Word count: 460 words


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You twiddle your fingers up and down,
Do you realize what you do?

I always tell you how much you mean to me,
How my heart yearns for you.

But i think you hear it so much that you take it for granted a bit,
But loving you is something that i refuse to just quit.

The strings are short, the line is thin,
But they won't seem to break.

Why can't you just love me like i love you?
I'd give anything to be on the same page.

You control my every mood with every move you make,
Each and every day it makes my heart shatter.

If you're going to change your ways and treat me right,
Could you go a little faster?

My heart hurts knowing that i'm the puppet,
And you're the puppet master.

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