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Rated: ASR · Short Story · Other · #1852031
Phoenix's guitar arrives...
It was the final day of midterms in the graduate program.  Phoenix left early for the college, as usual, to study.  It was 0600 when Phoenix arrived at school, but he did not study his graduate materials.  He had to relax before these midterms.  his way of accomplishing that on this particular morning was reading something that had nothing to do with his graduate studies.  He pulled his "How to Play Guitar" book out of his bag and began reading.  It was great!  He put it away again only when class had almost begun, satisfied with his pleasure reading and feeling comfortably refreshed.

Phoenix was proud of himself.  He had finished the graduate statistics exam in two minutes short of an hour and a half, and felt confident in his work on the four problems that the exam had consisted of.  Phoenix had to run home, type out a final section of a report that was due by 1630, and run back to the psychology office to turn it in.  At 1500, while in the psychology office talking with the secretary and a professor, one of Phoenix's friends walked in crying, turned in her report, and walked out.  Shortly thereafter, the statistics professor walked in and told Phoenix that he had just finished with the exam.  Phoenix knew that was not good.  Some had struggled terribly with it, including his friend, obviously.  Phoenix went home and decided that he was comfortably numb after all of that hard work.  He fell into bed, tired out, and slept until the doorbell rang at 1845.  It was here!

Phoenix stepped outside the door and there was the box.  It stood almost as tall as Phoenix and he carefully brought it inside out of the cold.  It was his guitar.  He carefully laid the box down flat on the floor and opened it with a dull knife from the kitchen, cutting the tape carefully as not to go too deep.  Opening the box, Phoenix removed the paper packing from around the second box.  He had been slightly worried about the condition of his new instrument due to a crushed corner of the outside box, but seeing that the inside box was intact, he worried much less.  Phoenix opened the second box and there it was - his new classical guitar.  Also included was a black gig bag and an automatic tuner.  The guitar was wrapped in a white celluloid bag and he knew he must allow the guitar to come to room temperature before taking it out of the bag to avoid moisture forming on the guitar.  He also knew, though, that he must inspect the guitar for damage.  The suspense was killing him!  His spouse called and picked Phoenix up for supper at a restaurant.  By the time Phoenix got home, the guitar was ready to unveil.

Phoenix carefully worked the celluloid bag off of the guitar, inch by inch, until he could see its beauty in full.  It was perfect, and the perfect size for Phoenix.  He had been worried that a 3/4 guitar would be too small for him, but it was just right.  He inspected it carefully and there was only one small scuff near the nut, but it gave it character, and he disregarded it.  Digging the tuner out of his accessories bag, he carefully tuned each string.  He was so excited!  When he finally had the last string properly tuned, he tried playing a few notes.  Phoenix loved it.  He got his guitar book and flipped to the first real song that it had in it.  The song was "Ode to Joy", and it was incredibly appropriate.  Phoenix played through it a few times rather easily.  He noticed, though, that it did not have the entire song.  Phoenix filled in by ear what was not written on the page and immediately had the entire song played another several times over.  It felt good to play music, and by ear no less.  Phoenix was confident in his abilities to learn and stick with learning to play the guitar.  He was a musician.  His friend was wrong when she had said he would play it for two weeks with bloody fingers and then let it rot.  He would prove her wrong soon enough.  Phoenix thought about that briefly between renditions of the song that he was playing.  She had stolen from him the full excitement of these moments, and he resented that.  It was done, though, and all he could do now was enjoy his guitar and the fantastic sounds that it made.  He went over the guitar with his spouse, pointing out every wonderful thing about it and enthusiastically playing "Ode to Joy".  The strings were nylon and, Phoenix suspected, much easier on the fingers than steel strings.  He marveled at the way they were tied.  He would have to learn to do that, but not yet.  For now, he could simply enjoy his new hobby and make music with his fine new instrument.  Phoenix went to bed happy that night.
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