He had many chances. His friends offered their support and he rejected it, turning his nose away like it was a disgusting sandwich. He knew he needed their help, but it involved suffering, going through what he had seen my of his recovering friends go through. Pain, agony, headaches, restless nights, it all came with getting out of the rut he had dug himself into. Nine years of being in this continuous foggy state of mind was enough to make anyone lose sight on their hopes and dreams. It was enough to make them forget.
But he hadn’t forgotten what he originally set out to do. The music no longer came to him and he did not have the energy to strum the strings on his old ebony guitar. The calluses he had earned from years of practice had vanished. His heart was into the music, but his mind was somewhere else.
Maybe if he had not gotten caught up in the wrong crowd, maybe if he had stuck with his old group of friends like he did now. Maybe if he had gotten help nine years ago. He was nine years too late. Once an addict always an addict. What was the point of even trying to stop? How long could he stay clean? One month, maybe two if he was strong? But he was not strong. If he were strong he would have quit a long time ago. What was the point of months and months spent going to hours and hours of meetings to get help when he never knew when he could relapse? What a waste of money.
He balanced the guitar on his right leg and placed his arm over it, fingers delicately touching the strings. He sat cross-legged in the bed of his oversized pick up truck, gazing around the parking lot by the train tracks. He strummed a few strings, just trying to remember the sound the old instrument could make. It had been too long, four years into his addiction he had given up on a possible music career to pursue substance abuse.
Deuce looked up, hearing the train coming, the distant whistle. The far off rumble. He played a few cords on the guitar, the memory of the notes he had played since he was six rushing back at him. He was twenty-two and had stopped playing at the age of sixteen. So many years. Too many wasted years. The male sighed, strumming some cords again.
He remembered playing until his fingers bled. Deuce remembered spending hours in his room trying to memorize a song, perfect it so he could show his friends what he had taught himself.
He sat there, figuring it all out, trying to remember. It all came rushing back at him and he played a small tune on his beloved ebony acoustic guitar. He played watching the train coming. He hummed and nodded to the music, playing the song that he had chosen well. He stood up as the train approached. Deuce played in the bed of the old F-450, strumming the strings with once perfected skill. Maybe he was rusty, but he was still above average in his playing skills.
He played, watching the train fly past. It brought on a gust of cold wind as it came from the north. He smiled, knowing that there were passengers inside. He grinned softly. In his mind they were the audience as he played for a crowd. Deuce imagined them liking his music, standing up and clapping at his own music that he had written. He imagined the song he played, how it would sound, how the audience would interpret the music.
Deuce watched the caboose of the train fly past and he lowered his guitar and sighed, watching his audience fly past. He lowered his head and looked to his feet.
He needed help.