|Long, long ago, at a much younger age and at a different time, a friendship formed, grew and blossomed. We spent long hours together, not in silence but not in boisterous riot of sounds either, getting to know each other better, as good friends do. She was already accomplished while I, a novice; her ancestors formed a long line in history, from the Arab world to the Spanish peninsula where they entertained royalty and peasants alike, to the Americas in the company of the Spanish “conquistadores” of long ago, so she had pedigree, while I, of peasant roots. I met some of her relatives in yet another place and time in my early years, never forming a bond with them but growing intrigued. I did not meet her in then for she had not wandered off from Spain yet, and more precisely she had not left her home at Calle Mayor in Madrid *. It wasn’t until much later when she embarked to the US and where we met, both of us foreigners in a new land . She was, and she is, beautiful with a melodious voice and a slender, curvaceous, sensuous body.
Our closeness grew as it always does in a good friendship, but at some point we reached a plateau and she demanded more time, dedicated time, quality time, alone-together time. I fell short of her demands: the time she demanded I did not have for there was a mortgage to pay and a demanding job to make it possible; there were travels to distant lands that the job that paid the mortgage demanded and she could not come along, not because I did not want to take her along with me but because it was not possible. Slowly, but as surely as the seasons change year after year, we grew apart. There was never a recrimination or a complaint but I no longer held her as I once did and my hands felt empty; her voice, once melodious, was now silent.
As the wind that moves the sand that moves the dunes inland, a grain of sand at a time, over time the mortgage was paid; the job that paid the mortgage which demanded the travels, mercifully ended, and I was left with time in my hands and a deep nostalgia for the days when I held her in my arms and we sang together melodies that I had before sang alone in my wanderings along the trails of my life: I missed her dearly. Perhaps I thought; perhaps, I wished; perhaps, I dreamed; perhaps we could get together again? What if I had changed so much, and not for the better? What if we could no longer sing together the same songs we once sang, and even worse, what if we could no longer make music together?
I dared the chance and when I came looking for her she was still there. She had been patient and faithful, waiting all of these years, always beautiful, always radiant. Upon the embrace of old friends, the curves of her body in my arms felt so familiar; the same voice, unchanged by time; the same softness in my hands. We were tentative at first, I more cautious and uncertain, and she responsive as she always was. And we could sing again; we could still make music together.
I know she is demanding but now I do have time to give her and time to sing and time to love the songs we sing together; old friendships like ours never die. My guitar and I, together again.
* Made by Manuel Contreras, Luthier, Calle Mayor #80, Madrid, Spain http://www.manuelcontreras.com/index/en
Making Smiles into Memories