To the casual passerby, my fingertips look normal. Anybody glancing at them in the subway, or flicking their eyes across at my hand as I pass them in the street would be able to discern no obvious change in their hue or texture. But things have changed. They’re sore, bruised on the inside, and as I discovered in the cafeteria this morning, more sensitive to heat than they were before.
Now, I ain’t saying poor me, but I am subtly excited about the prospect of calluses. Cause that’ll mean I can press down those chords and not get that horrid buzz sound when I strum. How long will they take to form? A week? Three?
Last night, after posting on this blog, I climbed into bed with my copy of Dog Days by John Levitt (which is proving to be a very fun read, I’ll write it up when I finish), and read a chapter or two. Then, unable to control myself, I grabbed the guitar again, sat up in my bed, chewed on the corner of my mouth and began to strum as quietly as I could (it was past midnight). I cracked the spine of the music book and opened it to Hey Jude and squinted down at it and began to figure out how to play.
Through the wall I could hear the murmur of my roommate and her boyfriend. I think it’s legitimate to yell at somebody for playing the guitar (badly) after midnight, so I played extra softly, and figured my way through the song.
And it was great, it was fantastic, crooning softly and off-key, my fingers growing increasingly sure as they switched from E to D to A, back and forth, and then that trembling pinky pressed down and evoked a strained E7, and then back down. “Hey Jude… don’t make it bad, take a sad song and make it better…”
I played another thirty minutes or so, until my fingers passed from felt like marshmallows being pressed against a cheese slicer, and then finally stopped. Now they’re tingling and sore, but I don’t care none. I can’t wait to head home and hurt them some more 🙂