Sunday, April 29, 2007
I gently placed the shoulder strap over my head. The touch of cool hard plastic greeted my left hand as it ran up the instrument. My fingers settled in place, slightly curved and flexed, like an Olympic sprinter at the starting blocks. The muscles in my fingers were tense and on high alert, waiting for the first note to pounce. My right hand settled on the strings, waiting in unison. A trickle of sweat slid down the back of my neck. Then the music started. First it was a faint murmur that was barely noticeable. Then it grew louder, hooting like an incoming train, signaling its arrival. This was it. There was no turning back. The track started rolling. With each passing moment, my heart rose from its usual position until it settled somewhere near my adam's apple. Then the notes came, tiny and blurry at first. As it raced towards me, its color and position came into focus. I had to wait, wait until it came to me. Thud! My index finger hit the green note while my right hand twang the strings. Too early! I heard myself curse in silence. I had failed, but it wasn't the end. The next red note flowed towards the edge of the television screen. I pressed down hard with my middle finger while I struck the roll of white plastic. Yes! I hit the note. But it was no time for rejoicing. The stream of inexorable notes flowed with rapidity towards me, challenging me to nail every single element. My fingers danced with the training of a ballerina, balanced and poised, hitting each position with a strong punctuation. The song was in full flight, and my ears twitched as I tried to catch its beat. For five minutes, I felt like a rock star, pounding out the next grammy winning rock single. The crowd roared with appreciation, and I was showered with thunderous applause. My glittering leather jacket shone like a starry night under the spotlight. My curls gave a springy bounce as I bowed to the crowd after the finale. I had finished playing my first song on guitar hero.