Well spent

Funny, isn’t it how you remember where you were at certain times. You recollect right down to the greasy calf D-ringed engineer boots on your feet, going clump, clump, clump on the stage. You can recall in great detail the set list taped to the top of the guitar and how you wished they’d killed all but the single spot you’d requested. But the one thing you wish you could recall was who she was, waiting off stage with that big grin on her face and her pose and movements hinting at all the pleasure to follow.

Now, this was no joke. I’m sitting here finishing tuning my old guitar, the one I played that night, and my hands start slipping into fingering the ” Black and Tans” :

There’s one thing about my woman. I can’t understand. Hey, hey, Lord, I can’t understand.

Every night we go to bed…she wants to do that old black and tan.

She stands out with a bare hint of a shimmy starting up, and the effect is electric.

I pop back into the present tense like I touched a live wire. These flashbacks are fun, but they can be brutal too. My heart is pounding, but there is an internal ache too. What we’d had was good; it’d burn out within a week of that performance.

I try to approximate the instrumental break, but my fingers seem too fat these days. So I start the last verse knowing in advance how it all ended:

” There’s one thing I sure do hate.

Hey, Hey, Lord, I sure do hate.

Ever since my woman learned the Black and Tan, I can not keep her straight.

I put Charlie, my guitar, back on the stand. Sometimes on hot summer evenings, I can almost touch the sweet fruit of my well-spent youth.

I touch the neck of my guitar, ring an e string, croon it out, and phrase it like the final line of a 12-bar blues – “I can almost touch the sweet fruit of my well-spent youth.”

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