One Picture, One Story
He had been staring at the old guitar for what seemed like a lifetime. Every day he woke and vowed he would pick it up and learn a song, but every day saw its end with the old thing still in its place. He once picked it up, caressing its ancient neck and feeling the strings on his fingers, but he didn’t go so far as to strum a chord or play a note. He stared at the old instrument but in the end promised himself that tomorrow, tomorrow he would take it down and he would learn to play. He was too busy today to get anywhere, so he’d wait until he had a day free from obligation and on that day he would play it. He turned and left, leaving the guitar to sit patiently, awaiting it’s turn to be played. It hadn’t had a bad life; its previous owner had treated it well and played it everyday, usually for hours, but a newer, flashier instrument had come into their life and the old thing got put up for sale. It didn’t take long and it found itself exactly where it was now and where it would sit for years to come.
Hours passed and still he didn’t return. The sun’s final rays disappeared behind the vast horizon and the north star shone as bright as ever in the night sky. The guitar stood, unmoving as always, yearning to be played. The man returned, smelling of alcohol and vomit, stumbling towards the couch and falling short by inches. It was there where he spent the rest of the night, prone on the worn hardwood, snoring so loud that the guitar felt its strings vibrate slightly. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to remind the instrument of its true purpose. The sound reverberated through its body, bouncing lightly off the beautiful handcrafted curves. He didn’t move at all in his sleep, even when a mouse crawled out and sniffed at the dry vomit in the corner of his mouth. At one point, when the snoring stopped for a moment, it was as though he had stopped breathing, but continued on even louder than before. The cat was roaming around the place, most likely searching for that vomit smelling mouse. She always stopped as she passed the guitar, as if to say an apology on behalf of the human who now lay on the floor. Today she lightly pawed at the strings, letting them ring out in a wonderfully dissonent way. She licked her paw clean before moving along, disappearing into the dark hall.
The sun’s rays were now burning up over the eastern horizon, returning for another day. The man still hadn’t moved and now the snoring had stopped for an unnerving amount of time. The guitar had a new layer of dust on its once incredible exterior. It would be days before the man was discovered, dead, having never once played and never once followed through.