“I didn’t know you could play the guitar!?” Jasmine was genuinely impressed by the fact that I could not only strum a few open chords…but I could play complete songs. And had just enough blood in my alcohol level to convince myself to sing. (You read that right).
Jasmine was smoking hot. Everybody knew it too. Especially her boyfriend Mike who was so possessive he didn’t even allow discussion of his girlfriend among his friends.
Even Jennifer told me if Jasmine wasn’t so unassuming about her petite athletic build with long wavy hair and olive complexion (which by the way was the perfect canvas for her striking blue-green eyes…) she would absolutely hate her. What made Jasmine even hotter was that she was always positive and upbeat without being superficial. But as easy as she was on the eyes, the first few days we hung out together (I hadn’t even met Jennifer yet) I didn’t dare flirt or even get caught staring at her by her boyfriend Mike. Mike (aka “The Wall”) was being courted by several SEC universities prior to his senior year for his aggressive skill as defensive tackle. Word travels fast when a college bowl game is at stake and he even had a few out of state recruiters foaming at the mouth in anticipation of snagging him for the benefit of their Alma mater as well as their own collegiate careers. That’s how I met Mike…well to be exact…I met his right shoulder pad, helmet and mechanical bull like torso in almost that order. I was the rookie lucky enough to fill in on a scrimmage game while training during our 10th grade summer. I took a “routine tackle” from Mike that resulted in a sprained ankle and torn ligament. He told me he felt bad about it later but then for the rest of my high school days someone always reminded me of the hard hit I took that summer day like it was one of those harrowing ESPN injury loops featured in slow motion.
Surviving the injury came with several months of rehab preceded by solitary confinement for what seemed like an eternity. I decided to make use of the time alone to legitimately learn how to play my Dad’s prized Gibson Les Paul six string guitar. It had a tobacco sunburst finish and anyone that held it was destined for rock stardom. Well…not exactly. The other punishment (in addition to the solitary confinement) was that my Dad is a closet musicologist and he insisted that I learn “real music” like the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones, etc. and I did…until I got better and realized I had a knack for learning guitar riffs by ear.
Unbeknownst to him I also learned some Pink Floyd, Hendrix and Nirvana, Foo Fighters, etc. By the end of that summer I knew at least 4 bars of every major rock song ever written. That’s right…I was lonely but talented!
Little did I know then that on our senior trip one of the roommates would leave their cheap acoustic guitar on the couch and that I would know enough to keep a few of us drunkenly singing some rock classics and that the smoking hot Jasmine would would grab my tan summer leg while making more song requests. Which was great except that Mike kept drinking and observing from the corner of the room…with a quiet intensity.
I had no idea she had a thing for musicians but I had a stronger urge for survival so (sing along if you want) I finished up with:
Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here”: <lyrics omitted due to potential copyright infringement> (Oh God…speaking of pain…Mike’s ears are literally getting red)
Foo Fighter’s “Everlong”: <lyrics omitted due to potential copyright infringement> (Crap…a frigging body cast if he has anything to do with it)
“Whew. I think I’ll take a smoke break everybody.” I pretended to wiped sweat fro my brow and address the roomates as if we were in a 200,000 seat arena. Jasmine had her hand squeezing my knee again “But, you don’t really smoke do you?”
“There’s a first time for everything.” I walked out of the condo bracing for impact but from the deck heard someone else pick up the guitar and strum a little which meant Mike now had a new target. I was safe.
In retrospect, I probably could have made my Dad proud and ended the last set of the evening with The Beatles’ “Help!” which I would’ve needed a lot of if Mike had decided to act on his jealous rage tendencies.