What a mismatch of events in the last twenty-four hours. After
writing in my journal last night, I walked down to the canteen to buy
an ice-cream cone and when I got there I bought a pack of cigarettes
instead. In front of the place, there was a guy was setting up an old Sears &
Roebuck’s electric guitar amp. I decided to stick around and listen to the
music. It wasn’t really music that I heard, though. He played as if he had
just finished lesson three on the “lessons for free plan.” Another old
guy was standing across from me, and when the music began, he
left. I was getting ready to leave myself when the guy came back
holding a squeezebox. Between the two of them they produced an
incredible sound, and it wasn’t the kind that sticks in your head, either.
Listening to those “not so young guys” play music was hard on the
ears, but at the same time it was inspiring. They were beginners, or
just plan bad. But that didn’t matter. I needed to see that; I needed
to see beginners. It gave me something to feel good about. It was
their music, good or bad, and they didn’t give a damn whether I liked it or not!
Those guys were probably as musical as they would ever get, but that
didn’t matter. They were having fun. When I walked back to camp, I
could feel the depression that had been stuck in my chest like an old
lug nut, disappear.
It was late when I got back to camp. I wasn’t ready to turn in. I
wanted to walk the beach and smoke a cigarette. I wanted to milk that
feeling of not being depressed, and, at the same time, say good- bye
to the beach. Going to my pocket for a match to light my cigarette, I
realized that I had lost my travelers checks. It was too dark to look
for them. I went to bed without smoking a cigarette, and, I went to bed
with an ache in my stomach that made sleep almost impossible.