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North Carolina, North Carolina
Birthday
June 11
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Birdwatcher Extraordinaire

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FEBRUARY 3, 2012 10:13AM

Betsy

Rate: 43 Flag

Guitar 
Lester sauntered through the Flea Market, in no hurry. He had no where to go and was in no hurry to get there. Since he retired and his wife Ellen had died, he mostly worked around his house or in his workshop. When he was a young buck he always had somewhere to go. He remembered getting his first driver's license. He bought an old clunker of a car and put some used Mag rims on the tires. After shining up the tires and dash and putting on a good wax job, it didn't look half-bad. It wasn't new like the rich kids had, but it ran great. Back then he always had places to go and people to see. Not like now. No, not like now.
 
He walked by a vendor who had an old guitar in the back of his truck he tried to sell him. He picked it up and saw it only had two strings. He plunked one and both he and the vendor shook their heads. Just to be nosy, he asked the vendor how much he wanted for it. $30? He walked away thinking the guy would never sell it at that price. It took Lester longer than usual to find his parked his car and when he did, he was opening the trunk and putting the old guitar in the back. How? He didn't remember buying it. Surely, the guy must have given it to him. He knew he wouldn't buy it, he had never played a guitar in his life. He couldn't even whistle a tune.
 
A week later, Lester was looking for a pair of pliers to loosen the nozzle on the water hose when he opened the car trunk and spotted the guitar. What the hell? Who in the world put that in his trunk? It could only be his son. He had taken his car the week before to get the oil changed and he must have left it in the truck. How many times had he told him to always keep the trunk clean. He grabbed the guitar and started walking towards the back door of his house to call his son and give him a piece of his mind, but stopped. Looking at the old guitar again, he turned and went into his workshop. The more he stared at it, the more he saw it wasn't in that bad of shape, really. Why, with a little work and some furniture polish, maybe some shellac and some new strings, she just might play. He decided to fix her up. Her?
 
Lester walked back into the house. He was hungry but didn't know what he wanted to eat. Really, he couldn't remember how to fix anything he wanted. He walked over to turn on the television, but couldn't find the on/off button. Surely the damn thing had an on/off button. The phone rang and as he went looking for it, the next thing he knew he was back in the workshop with the phone in his hand. He sat down and picked up Betsy, his guitar, and started playing Hank Williams "Your Cheating Heart" and was in the middle of Willie Nelson's "Blue Eye's Crying in the Rain" when he fell asleep. It was dark when he awoke with that damn guitar in his lap. He put it down, angry at his son for bringing it there. 
 
Still angry, he carried the guitar into the house and sat it down. He was hungry and his wife wasn't home and he didn't know where she could be. He looked around for a note from Ellen and started to turn on the overhead lights but instead, tripped over the guitar. He fell and hit his head on the end table. Blood was running down his face and onto the carpet and his favorite chair. He took out his handkerchief to stop the bleeding. He stood up, angry, and seeing the guitar started stomping it and stomping it until it was nothing but small pieces of wood and wire. The wire wrapped around his foot and as he took his other foot to try and get the wire off, he fell again. 
 
He awoke to a very dark house. He was on the floor with blood everywhere and his head hurt. He put his hand to his head and felt the cut. Someone must have broken in and knocked him out. He was able to get to his knees and reach the floor lamp. That was when he saw Betsy, the treasured guitar his father had given to him thirty years ago, smashed into pieces. He loved it more than life and lay back down and started crying. Who could do this? What kind of person would beat up an old man and destroy the only thing he had left in the world to love? As he cried, he pleaded for his wife to come home to help him up and feed him and love him again and he could only lay in a fetal position on the floor and  cry and whisper why?...,why?...,why?

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If this doesn't make any sense to you, imagine what sense it would make to a person with Alzheimer's?
Nothing makes sense if the human heart tilts toward proper livelihood and decency.
Nature Placed the human heart on the Left under the human (jail bars) breast plate.
No be a righty.
You'd love the West Virginian Flea Market. It's on Route 9- passed the gentleman club.
On Friday wear t-shirt.
Those eves are wet t-shirts.
You and others can do that.
`
at flea market
condoms are sold
at rice cake display
`
I'm sorry for illness.
Kerry may lap-dance.
You can invite editor.
`
sigh/sad . . .
I bought WW 1- letters.
They in a old metal box.

I love Flea Vendors.
They sell to survive.
We sell salad greens.
Scanner, your very engaging story portrays in its own way what families around the world deal with on a daily basis! Choosing the guitar because of its many special and sentimental qualities was a great way to express this.
It made perfect sense to me. It seems you have touched the inside of this man's slip sliding away.
rated with love
Scanner, once again you have managed to climb into the addled head of an Alzheimer's victim with the most amazing sensitivity. This is among my favorites of yours, and that it saying a lot!

Lezlie
You've captured the nightmare perfectly, I think. I hope I never have to find out myself.
So tragic and well written.
HUGGGGGGGGGGG
Your words improve my life even when I leave this site with the blood of a lost and losing soul in my eyes.
Based on your first comment, I'm even more impressed with this "brain twister". You just keep on getting better and better, Scanman.
Another masterpeice, wow, you have become a great writer!
There is nothing sadder than a broken guitar, no matter how it got that way. I know.
B.B. King calls his guitar, "Lucille."

Rated Highly
I think you did a great job fictionalizing what your family is experiencing right now - great work on this.
I love the way you tell a story, Scanner.
Ouch. Very well crafted story, I liked it in spite of the sting.
Aww, this makes my heart ache. That poor old guy...so alone and confused and helpless. Good story, and true to life.
Nothing particularly constructive to say, "Scanman". But: You and this piece have "broken my heart". Not fatally, but "open". Your writing gifts are breathtakingly beatiful and skilled. I had my first undeniable "Senior Moment" yesterday so I don't know where all of that will be going for me, but your exquisite skills while you and Terri are going through so much are mindbending. Simple thank you, "Scanman". ;-)
this is a beautiful story. I'm glad I caught it.

you're becoming quite a writer, mr. scanman. :)
Oh Ken...this touched me very deeply.
This was excellent. You should try to submit it to the Alzheimers organizations. Also, yesterday they announced that they might be on to some way of preventing or stopping this disease. It turns out it reproduces like a virus, but is really a protein that is causing the problem. There are also indications that this same protein is linked to other neurological diseases. Thanks for putting this up and helping us all understand this from the person's point of view that it has happened to.
Well done Scanner. Half way through the read I was thinking Alzheimers so you protrayed the moment very well. Well done, my friend.
Nice job, Scanner. Artfully done and very frightening if you are my age and wonder if every time you forget where you put your car keys is the start of the big slide. Why don't you put it on the Weekend Fiction post? R
Excellent writing here dude. My heart goes out to the old man and Betsy too. Did you name your guitar? Rated with an Ila smile of course. :-)
That is about the saddest thing I've ever read.
Forgetting to remember, do we forget?
Or simply not remember we forgot to?

rate
Scanner,

What a beautiful story!
I thoroughly enjoyed this story! It's quite sad, but very well written. (:
God, I hope it was not the guitar in that picture!

Great little story, Scanner. A vivid portrayal of the thing that I fear the most. More than death itself.
scanner, this was so realistic. You have put forward a very true portrayal of someone dealing with Alzheimer's Disease. What a scary, unsettling place to be. Excellent writing. R
What Brassawe said - exactly!
.
What Steve wrote, since I am lost for words but fear the same.
Haunting, Scanner. A very well-written, disquieting story that gives us all a taste of what it must be like to be at odds with our minds. R
Swiped blue this:
Blood was running down his face and onto the carpet and his favorite * as I wanted to say s/b: blood ran down etc
and Google drove me into 'Fear in Loathing in Las Vegas'.
Otherwise, as much as I enjoy most of your writing Scanny, I'm still at arm's length on this one...wisest-street-smartest dude I ever met counseled, 'never let yourself get in a position to 'let' anyone stand on your throat'.
Dude has disappeared into the penal 'system'.
Scout's Honor!
Anda from an 'Open Salon' slant, the comments are as 'enlightening' as the 'fiction'.
Alzheimer--light...you're always meeting new people, no?
None of the money makers have been cured. eg MIC *military industrial complex*
Thank you for the opportunity to comment.
Sorry I snapped.
Just played the music video and really enjoyed the symbolism and wet earth with cattle and chattel and castles in the air, until he reached the part about the South 'rising again'.
I got anxious with the phrase. I have many relatives and good buds all over the Sout (they're just not Nort) and nary a one ever talked about 'rising again'.
Ain't no red states ain't no blue states there's the United States.
Can't play with only wedge irons, you know?
J.P., I have to thank you. I Googled it, and found a site where there are thousands of lines I can steal. http://www.math.umass.edu/~diehl/mysteries.html

Imagine, every time I need a line, I just head here. You're a sweetheart, my man. I don't care what people say, You're Top's With Me. (got that line off an old Shirley Temple movie, hah)
Scanny I've replied PM wise. I see nothing other than originally in 99% of your work and sought to point to the cyber aspect of coincidence [you nor I will ever be John Cheever in a bunker!] as well as synchronicity.
My intentions are good.
Respectfully,
everyman, every father's son,


LIBERTY
Holy tipsy snickers dude prince! Diligent sight. Now all we need are looks and a whole lot of money!
For all I know that's something
Ayn Rand dreamed up after she got exhausted blowing her pool boy.

More later.

Gotta wake up little Susie!
J.P., I have to thank you. Being a computer idiot, (along with various other kinds) I didn't know you could search a line like that. I am forever indebted to you. I will steal as much stuff from you as possible, and if asked, will credit you, but only if asked, I'm an idiot, not a fuckin' fool!
I guess sometimes that is the only thing we can do is to return to our infancy and make like a baby.
Write something happy will you please ScanMan, FRed(tm)'s been driven into a mild depressive state by this.

"I'll rate it shall I Boy?"
Whatever it is, you tell it great, scanner. R
That was a great story. (r)