Possession Is Nine Tenths of the Law

My guitars have been dusted for fingerprints. I’m not sure how that makes me feel. It’s a bitter irony that the last person who enjoyed some genuine excitement from them was somebody else. Inconsequential is the fact they were criminals. Could’ve been anyone really. Should’ve been me.

I’ve lived much of my life as a happy-go-lucky, don’t-rock-the-boat-pacifist who believed in live-and-let-live, peace-love-and-harmony, and that there’s always an alternative to fighting. I’ve forgotten that fighting isn’t just about avoiding confrontation. Buried in that complacency is a James who remembered that nothing good ever came without a fight–by fists or finesse.

Perhaps it’s some cosmic signal that the thieves made off with all of my valuable worldly possessions save these guitars. Staring at them, recalling my teenage anger at the world, my blood boils. I’ve been filled with a rage uncharacteristic of myself these past weeks that has lashed out at the world. I’m quick to anger. A temper un-tethered.

So here sits my guitar. My first real guitar. The one I started a band with. The one I found my voice with. The one I put my fist in the air with. The one I learned how to fight with. The one with which I made my mark–with someone else’s fingerprints on it.

“Don’t turn away, get in front of it.”

These guitars remain in my possession. They stood, like refugees, against the faux brick of my home, upright and proud, as if to defy their diaspora. They weren’t strewn about the grass. They weren’t scattered as castaways. By some twist, my voice refused to leave. Behooved to a negligent master, still they would not be parted.

Perhaps my anger has found a home once again.

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