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Stratocaster With Wings

I lifted the Stratocaster from my lap as I went to answer the door. Peter stepped inside and I smiled at him, but my guitar must have smiled harder. It was all he could look at.

“Will you play me something?” he asked.

My response was a sheepish no, of course. I had picked up the guitar only a month prior…I was not ready for my first performance. My G chords still sounded like mangled As. I could make a one-string song unrecognizable.

And yet, somehow, I ended up back on my couch with the Stratocaster on my lap and Peter sitting to my left. I thought briefly that Jimi Hendrix might possess me and save me from embarrassment. He didn’t. The C chord I attempted probably would have sounded better had I thrown my guitar across the room. I felt my face grow warm and my back tighten with frustration.

Peter reached over. I moved my hand away as he placed his fingers over the strings in that staircase shape I wanted so badly to perfect. He told me just to strum. And as I did, he made all the other shapes I had spent a month trying to name and remember to no avail. The teepee, the small line, the triangle.

Chords--nothing more. But my ears heard Dreams and Graceland. And my body felt like it had escaped gravity…like, suddenly, all the hard things in the world could be easy.


Wrote this recently for my memoir class and have been sitting on it since. More school-assignment content to come :)

My Stratocaster with wings (clearly)

1 Comment

Carolina Pino
Carolina Pino
Sep 07, 2023

What a lovely silly moment! Someday, Jimi Hendrix will be wishing that you possessed him🎸🎸

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