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The scissors rested in a cylindrical container, crammed in next to colored pencils and a dull plastic comb. A dried fruit container lay on the floor next to it, it's apple contents long been consumed. The trashcan, hidden under the desk, had a grocery bag instead of a plastic liner. Thrifty, and easier to insert into the can than a manufactured bag. Oprah, the guitar, leans against the wall, watching me with non-existent puppy eyes, begging to be played. I look away with guilt; I hadn't touched her slender, pale neck since yesterday. Even then, I had only carelessly strummed out a few chords before replacing her in her resting spot against the wall.

I reach past my guitar to push the power button on my computer. The pitch screen glows to a brighter shade of black as it hums to consciousness.

I roll back onto my back, squishing my fingers between wooden slats and mattress above my bed. I stare at the tiny, Sharpie-inked heart directly above my pillow. The letter left there are practically illegible; R and J. The R is splotched with brown, the result of a by-hand removal that left me with splinters jammed beneath my nails.


I closed my eyes, taking a deep breath as I twitched my fingers jerkily.

“Don't think about that,” I say, opening my eyes. “Think about Australia. Or the Moon.”

I look towards my computer, the screen now lit up fully with the start screen waiting for me expectantly.


Hello, why haven't you logged in yet? It seemed to say.


“Because I'm amidst emotional turmoil.”


There's sure to be something to distract you from your feelings here somewhere. You just need to look.


The tiny bar blinks invitingly in the password box.


What're a few minutes? You're not doing anything for the next few hours anyway.


I reach for the computer. It appears to glow brighter as if my physical response to it perked it up.
I smile, my lips feeling dry. I feel a headache coming on; probably result of my constant rebuttal of the emotions I should be feeling.

I settle back down on my bed, the laptop resting a little too warm on my lap.

The blue-hued screen aches my eyes. I begin typing in my password.

I watch the home screen load, my countless audio files filling the screen with their icons. I click around, listening to clips of strumming and lyric here and there, selected randomly.

I click on a file named J, and before I can close the program, the speakers begin playing the badly rhymed, oddly tempo-ed words.


Little Bluebird

haven't you heard

I've caught a sickness

maybe bird flu


Little Bluebird

haven't you heard 

I've got a sickness

I think its the blues


Little Blue Bird

haven't you heard

I've got a sickness

I caught it from you


I click away from the audio clip and close the lid. Despite my desperate attempt to not think them, thoughts invade my head. I see a too-white smile, feel too-warm touch, hear a too-loud laugh, all at once.

I shiver, trying to rid myself of them to no avail. I look around my room, scanning for something, anything, to distract myself. My eyes land on my guitar, leaning against the wall.


I toss my legs off the side of the bed, my computer falling on the floor, where it lands with a loud thunk.

I hope that isn't broken, I think momentarily, before I reach for my prized instrument. With shaky hands, I quickly plug in the power cord to the wall. I flick the hard-to-reach switch on the back of the amp, and an electric buzz fills the airspace. A feeling of power enters. A presence of life. 

The speakers creak with every touch of my fingers to the strings.

I strike a chord, nearly deafening myself to the sound of A minor. I pause, my ears ringing, to adjust the volume to a more reasonable level.


Miss me? She whispers, through the hiss and pop of my old speakers.


“How could I have ever left,” I say, gripping the neck softly. The ringing in my ears subsides, and I begin to play.

All my troubles melt away. There is no past, no memory. No future, no anxiety. There is only the present, a gift; and I fill it with music.

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