A Wandering Musician: Chapter 1


 My clothes are tattered,

My boots are worn,

My heart is shattered,

My life is torn,

I’m searching in vain,

For you my dear,

In every city,

At every pier.

Chapter 1:

“Lorraine, I am looking out at the water, the sun is lowering into the cold depths. It is beautiful. The boats float back and forth, creating gentle waves, and I, in my privilege, get to gaze upon them in wonder.”

Grant wrote no more, but folded the small square of paper tenderly and slipped it inside of his suitcase. Its leather handle was worn, there were stamps of cities names along the hard sides and there were two metal latches on the top to fasten it shut.

He had only his suitcase and guitar. He pulled his woolen coat a little tighter around him as he stood. The air was cold as it blew in from the water. He drew a breath, picked up his belongings and went into the Anchor Pub.

He played his guitar, a single microphone on stage as a few men sat at a table drinking their beers and cheering him on. He smiled at them but it didn’t seem to reach his eyes. The songs he sang were sad and soon the tone grew somber in the pub and they gazed into their drinks not knowing where the sorrow came from though it was there in their hearts. They thought of the ones they loved and the moments in life they had wasted. It was an odd mix of woe and want for something they had lost or perhaps never had.

When he had finished, they bought him a round and he drank it with gratitude as they laid money in his open case. He thanked the owner who gave him a meal for his time and then left. The men sat talking for a while more but soon the memory of the musician faded and their jovial attitude returned.

“Lorraine, my sweet, I am just trying to find my way back to you.” He folded the new note and slid it into the same inside pocket of his suitcase to rest beside the earlier letter. His feet dangled at the edge of the pier.

*Note: This is a fictional story of a musician named Grant. It is loosely based on the places I traveled as a musician in a band. I was inspired by the photographs we had taken over the years as we went from coast to coast and North to South. Another source of inspiration was a song called “Suitcase Full of Sparks” by Gregory Alan Isakov since it brought to mind all the miles, joys and hardships of life as a musician.

I hope you enjoy it.

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