Welcome to the party! While you don’t know everyone here, you do know Matt from your accounting class and you’re about to meet the seven people who all decided this party was the place to show off their skills as musicians.
James was the first of them to arrive. Says hi to a few people and snakes his way through the kitchen into the laundry room. You hardly notice the guitar strapped on his back, because you’re kickin’ ass at beer pong. About eight minutes after he arrived, you hear faint strumming and mumbles coming from the laundry room. He’s playing what sounds like Death Cab for Cutie.
Walking into the living room you see Mark. He has his guitar strung cavalierly across his back. No case. He’s constantly making micro adjustments to his posture and glaring dirty looks when people bump into him. The only time his guitar is played all night is when someone accidentally brushes against the strings. He’s also holding a case of Hamm’s that’s 2/3 full, but sipping a Molson.
Arrives to the party with a huge guitar case. At this point you’re over it and turn away to get a beer. She motions for you to follow her into a bedroom with a few other people. Bump a string when you walk past Mark. In the bedroom, she opens the case and shows you the giant bong. This rules. Y’all get ripped.
This guy is carrying around a child-sized guitar insisting that it’s called a “guitulele.” He corners you in the living room and brags about an entho-musicology degree. You ask him pointedly about his ukulele. He sighs heavily and walks away.
He’s been walking around for the last hour asking people for requests. Regardless of anyone’s answer he plays the first bit of “Wonderwall” then yells “PLAY FREEBIRD!” He laughs and says, “Get it?” Fuck Cameron.
Lives here. Shows up late and stashes his guitar in the closet. Apologizes to you saying he just came from band practice; doesn’t feel the need to explain further. Offers you a Coors. It’s warm. You talk about the new Against Me! record, and you both agree that it slays.
Justin is sitting on the couch. It looks like a guitar was placed in his lap. He can’t hold it up. Completely wrecked.
You sit on the couch and pull the guitar off of Justin’s lap – it’s a pretty nice Gibson. You strum a single chord and set the guitar down. Suddenly, eight dudes are surrounding you trying to get your opinion on whether Nick Reinhart is truly the heir to Nels Cline’s experimental work. An attempt to bring up Julian Lange or Omar Rodrigez-Lopez opens a whole new battery of arguments among the mass that is attempting to assimilate you. Make an excuse about trying to get in on an open slot for the beer pong table and slip out the door when the horde collectively decides to retune.
On your walk home from the party you become engulfed in the quiet and stillness that exists in your small town. Realizing how beautiful it all is you lose all interest in guitar and music. They’ve driven it out of you. You embrace this idea and move to make your life closer to silence.
Sell your ’93 Ford Tarus, with its squeaky windows, coughing air conditioning, and squelching engine. Throw out your microwave, with its shrill bell and grinding motor. Switch to bar soap in the shower, because it doesn’t make that sound like a sick child when it begins to run out like your body wash.
Accept the sounds of the world, but seek true silence. You will slowly retreat back into nature and gain a tribe of followers, becoming a god-head to this new religion of silence. Your teachings bring forth a prosperous and peaceful era. No longer is one forced to hear about an overly complicated music degree or watch people drink beer while holding a guitar. Your name will be celebrated for centuries and your teachings will be carried through the generations.