Tremolo

January 25, 2011

Listening to the hallowed thump of my father’s fingers on the wood, the tiny squeak of the tuning pegs pulling tension on the strings, my two brothers and I gazed like giddy, perfect Buddhas into the hollow bodies of our parents’ Martin guitars from our spot on the floor at their feet.

And we watched their fingers strum and pick—the steel and the nylon—as they fumbled with their capos, and belted out the pages, one soprano, one alto, of torn sheet music with their throats.

John Denver, Jerry Jeff, Emmy Lou, Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul and Mary, Tom Paxton, Kris Kristofferson, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band…

These folky jam sessions where my father sang into my mothers eyes and struggled to reach those higher notes never lasted all that long. The moments before someone was first to put down his or her guitar, to grab a cigarette, sounded best. The last notes hung sweetly like a tremolo, something mysterious and dark hovering overhead, a lumpy fog of calamitous death.

And it held us in place, for fear the slightest of our movements be the cause of this end. Except our voices, which rose above each plucked string along the fret, and danced, and knew we had no choice but to let go.

Advertisements

4 Responses to “Tremolo”


  1. You have many great word combinations… “…perfect Buddhas…” and “..sang into my mothers eyes…” for example.

    Enjoyed the piece,
    D

  2. Lauren Enfield Says:

    Beautifully written. Is the photo of your parents? Your mother was GORGEOUS!

  3. sevenperfumes Says:

    Thanks, Lauren. And yes, those are my parents circa 1979. My mama was definitely a hottie back in the day. I was 11 here, so that makes her about 31.


  4. […] than anything, Doug and I are music lovers. I was raised with a mom and dad who played folk tunes on Martin guitars and taught us a thing or two about how to carry a note. Doug grew up with an enthusiasm for drums, […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: