The Strings Of Shock

Hotel California’s guitar solo made its presence felt in the room.

He was lying down on the stone-cold floor, half-naked, trying to sway around in an action, in accordance with the two guitars. Failing horribly, he lifted himself up and plonked down on his sofa, like an exhausted coal miner after his first ever shift. Only half-drunk, he decided to cook, before changing his mind, instead grabbing another pint of beer from the fridge. It was a Budweiser Magnum. He stared at the logo and its accompanying design for a few seconds, and felt as if the beer had been made specially for him. He had switched brands recently. Budweiser’s sponsorship of the FIFA World Cup had made a difference.

The song had changed. Suicide Silence’s Unanswered blared from the speakers, filling him up with testosterone, in the perfect culmination of aggression, rage and level-headedness. Smashing his pillow into pulp and panting by now, he decided to sit down and meditate. For, what else could he do to stay sane, when all kinds of substances called for his attention? Left to the vestiges of an ever-craving, pleasure-seeking, impulsive mind, he felt as if he were right on the edge, saddling a fine line between staying wasted all day and ultra-productivity. How he wished, he could have more control. He felt much calmer, as if gliding through a misty fog on a magical carpet, balanced on one feet, before toppling over, towards bare earth and rough surfaces.

Just a few hours ago, he had realized that he wasn’t in love after all.

The feeling had arrived, been processed and had gone, leaving a trail of memories in its wake, like plumes of exhaled cigarette smoke, of no use to anyone, only to be passively remembered and then forgotten. Much of his persona didn’t make sense to him, sometimes. Out of the blue, as if seized by a sudden sense of urgency, he made a grab for his acoustic guitar and his laptop. He would learn to play Hotel California’s solo. He wanted to do something constructive and now was the time to do something. He wanted to do something and drag himself out of the abyss he had sunk himself to. After dusting the cover for a bit, he saw, to his dismay, six rusted strings stare up towards him morosely. The moment sent an electric jolt coursing across his veins. What was he doing with himself?

For a full five seconds, he screamed.

He spent the next three hours cleaning every speck of dust in his room.

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