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Rated: ASR · Short Story · Other · #1855279
Phoenix continues enjoying his guitar, despite everything else in life that is going on...
Phoenix got up at 0500 to shower so that he could play his guitar for a while before he had to go over to the college.  Playing the guitar in the morning relaxed him and got him ready for the day.  He wandered through the dark to find his flashlight.  Opening his drawers quietly as not to wake his spouse, he got himself some clean underwear and made his way to the bathroom to shower.  Phoenix took short showers, unlike his landlord upstairs.  Ten full minutes was a long shower for Phoenix, whereas his landlord would take one for 45, running all of the hot water out of the tank and making life miserable for anyone who needed to use water in the basement for a good hour and a half.  His landlord did not care if someone else was already showering, either.  He would just turn the water on and rob the person in the basement already showering of all hot water, which was quite unpleasant.  Phoenix would like to, just once, be able to take a 15-minute shower to relax.  It seemed that that particular method of relaxation would not soon, or perhaps ever, be available to him.

Phoenix showered and got out his guitar.  He whispered to his spouse and asked if it would be okay if he played it since it was so early.  "I don't care.  It doesn't bother me."  Phoenix had the green light.  First, he worked on the transitions in the introduction of Cold Play's "Clocks".  That was coming along nicely.  Next, he flipped to "Orange Blossom Special", which he had only been working on for a day or so.  It was a blazing fiddle tune, but Phoenix loved it and knew he could learn to play it.  He had found a guitar version online.  After he practiced that for a bit, he turned his attention to "Black Velvet" to work on it in an overall fashion.  That was also coming along well.  He played some accompaniment riffs and baselines that his dad had taught him a few days prior to that and could still remember how to play them.  Phoenix was improving and it felt good to him.  He was accomplishing something and it was helping him relax.  What better combination could he ask for?  He could not wait to get "Dueling Banjos" and some of the other tunes he had ordered through the mail.  They should be coming soon.  Very soon.  Finally, after satisfying his stress levels with his playing for a good 40 minutes, Phoenix put his guitar away and got ready for school.  Three books - one on statistics, one on the MMPI-2, and one on integrative cognitive therapy - and his bag, which had his questions for psychotherapy class that were due that day, were all he picked up to walk out the door with.  He took a jacket just in case and told his spouse goodbye.  It was nice outside in the cool of the morning and was set to be a warm day.  Phoenix was calm.  That was unusual.

Classes that day went painfully slow.  In his first class, there was a peer reviewer present to evaluate the professor's performance and gather our input on her teaching performance.  That went well, except for the clear fact that some of the students still did not understand confidentiality and ethics in psychological testing.  The second class was painfully embarrassing because the obsessive-compulsive perfectionist decided to try to convince the professor not to have a final in a long-winded and self-serving manner.  Then there was the student government undergrad, enamored with the professor, who would not stop making intolerable comments.  Phoenix wished they would both decide against coming to class ever again.  The third class was cut short due to a candidate for the developmental psychology professor position being there to meet the graduate students, which was also hard to endure because the anal perfectionist was also rude...  Phoenix did not understand what her problem was exactly, but he had more than a sneaking suspicion that she was on the verge of clinical depression and needed help because he had seen the tell-tale signs emerging all semester.  It was not that Phoenix was uncaring.  He cared very much for people.  People did not always want help, however, and that would be the issue here.  The question was one of who could approach her that she would accept help from.

Phoenix went home after class and played his guitar.  He needed to unwind and that did it for him.  His spouse got home shortly after he did and they went for lunch together.  After that, the two of them went back home and tried out this cool new gadget that his spouse had gotten as they burned some terrific incense.  Next, Phoenix went to coffee with a friend.  That conversation was somewhat rough, as his friend did not share his opinion of how to deal with angry people.  Phoenix told his friend never to tell an angry person to, "Just calm down," because it often had a paradoxical effect.  His friend disagreed and was not afraid to say so.  Clear communication was something Phoenix never had to worry about with that particular friend.  For that, even when she disagreed with him, he was thankful because he never had to wonder what she was thinking.  She would always tell him.

Phoenix went home after his friend had to go to work and played his guitar some more.  He began learning "Joshua Fit The Battle" with some chords.  He was amazed at the fact that he could play chords and that he could make them sound good.  Not only did they sound good, they sounded remarkably similar to the tune he was attempting to play.  This excited him greatly.  He was doing it!  He was playing the guitar!  He was even improving, and that impressed him.  Phoenix had not been able to be excited about music for a long time.  It felt good.  He paused in his practice and hugged his guitar, praying, "Lord, thank you for this instrument and the ability to play it.  Please let your will be done and lead me in the way you want me to go in life, whatever You want me to do.  Thank you, God.  Amen."
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