Weekly sessions, 11:30am Saturday. The name is particularly eye-catching,

A nice alliterative phrase, fitting for an elder gentleman.

He loves The Mamas and the Papas and The Beach Boys and needs something to do with his hands,

so we start with the basics.


Over the next four years, I do my level best to share it with him.

I make variations on the chords that are too hard to play.

I let the time run into my lunch break in favour of just one more song.

I bring footstools and cushions and water,

and make sure that my youth is not too annoying or too bright.


I call out my dumb instructions from the shallows,

I tell him that someone wiser said to make peace with the door.

I search my kit over and over,

but I am ill-prepared and can't find the tool we need.


So I try it all.

He picks the first song, and I make sure that he hears that I am singing along.

I reposition his fingers on the strings again, and then we try some piano.

I don't lie, but I pretend that I earned the right to be optimistic.

We write songs that already exist.


When our time is up,

I offer him a worksheet on finger strength exercises that I found on google,

and I pat the back of his hand a few more times.

His telecaster is held an inch off the ground when the nurse rolls him away.

He's not there next session.

The timeslot is blue for two more weeks,

and then red for a week,

until it is blue again

and I stare at it all night long.






At 11:30am on a Saturday, my colleagues joke with me about my stagnant playlist.

They say I've finally aged out, that I'm out of the loop.

But it's still the morning,

and the little girl has been dancing for 7 minutes now -


Isn't this the way it goes?

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