The sun touched down on the small motionless lake as a figure approached ducking beneath a pine branch. A black chipped coffee mug with a gray Linneman’s Speakeasy logo was in the man’s left hand and in his right he engulfed an old brown weathered guitar by its neck.
His shadow followed him as his birkenstocks touched down on the rickety wooden dock. In fourteen steps he reached the end of the pier and took in fresh air as though he was breathing in and out for a lung exam. He put the mug at his feet, flipped off his sandals and dipped his ankles in the cool water. The guitar never left his index finger and he cradled it across his lap fingering the strings with an eloquence of a seamstress making wedding gowns.
The music reverberated across the lake, ripples on the water made the ducks feel like they were on boogie boards. It was a song he played a million times, being in the backwoods of Wisconsin made him think of his childhood, the campfires, and the country. Sundown by Gordon Lightfoot, the perfect song for this time of day. Words weren’t necessary, nature did its best to hum along. Turtles climbed to the dry side of an isolated log, taking a front row view as their necks moved and grooved with every chord.
The guitar strings were forgiving, soft and bendable, as though they could predict the notes in sequence. The turn pegs were black and reflected the shine from the setting sun. The guitar smelled like saw dust and had a single sticker just under its bridge. “Where Words Fail, Music Speaks.” No truer words had ever been so sticky. No cigarettes, no tattoos or whiskey, just an old folk singer that has gone gray, a scraggly Jeff Bridges beard, outdated slate cargo shorts, and a distressed black Smokey and the Bandit tshirt with Burt and Sally hanging out of the Trans-Am.
Author Notes: Beginning of a short story.
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