“Hendrix By the Nightstand” by Bob Lind


She takes off her shoe and rotates her
Foot. “He’s not like you,” she tells this new
Guy. “There wasn’t an ounce of sensitivity in him.”

 

“He held me back,” she says. “Held me back
And kept me down. He
Didn’t want my guitar playin’ to be good.”

 

Later.

Afterwards.

She says, “The idea of his own wife playin’

Kick-ass lead like him was too big a threat.”

 

Then, a little later, still in the afterglow, she
Tells him: “His ego was scared to death of what I might’ve
Done with that thing.”
She points hard toward the closet, as
Though he could see through the door to the Gibson
Firebird with Steinberg gearless tuners and dual mini
Humbuckers rotting in its dusty hard shell case,
Strings rusting like barbed wire on an old fence.

 

“Do you still play?” he asks her.
“He killed it!” she says, slapping the
Mattress. “All he did was demean me, tell me I suck. I
Could’ve been good. Maybe not as good as Hendrix, but
Good. But he killed it.”
She doubles her fist and clenches her jaw in
The candlelight. He touches her face to soothe
Her. “So why don’t you start playing again?”
“What for?” she says and moves her face away
From his hand, giving her hair a sudden single downstroke
With her fingers.
“Out of love,” he says. “Isn’t that why Hendrix played? Isn’t
That why anyone plays? Who cares what he thinks?”
She won’t look at him. “Easy for you to say,” she tells
Him. “You never heard his snide insults. ‘Practice or
Forget it,’ he would tell me. ‘Learn the names of the
Chords,’ he would say. He would never give me
Credit for what I was doing good.”
He touches her bare thigh to calm her.
“You don’t need his credit,” he says.
Tears rim her eyes. “I could’ve been good,” she says.
He nods. “Okay. So play,” he says. “Pick it
Back up and start playing again.”
“It’s too late,” she says. “He held me back.”
“If you love it, do it,” he says. “It’s not too late if you
Love it.”
She turns, finally, to face him, her eyes burning brighter than the
Soft candles. “Why are you starting shit with me?” she asks
Him.
“What?” He sits up. The sheet falls of his chest.
“You don’t have an ounce of sensitivity in you,” she says.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bob Lind is a musician whose songs have been covered by more than 200 artists, including: Cher, Aretha Franklin, Eric Clapton, Marianne Faithful, Glen Campbell, Kingston Trio, Dolly Parton, and Nancy Sinatra. His lyrics have been taught in colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and Canada.  He won the Florida Screenwriters Competition with his script Refuge.  He won the Southern California Motion Picture Council’s Bronze Halo Award for his play The Sculptors.  He also has poetry published in Iodine Poetry Journalwww.BobLind.com