I had a dream the other night. It was a weird dream in terms of what I normally dream. I was a father. I was an actual father conversing with my son about music. He was trying to play a guitar. He wanted to take lessons and for his birthday I bought him and old Fender to start with. He was slightly interested in playing rock music. I remember listening to the local radio station trying to see what he sought that was so alluring to him. I listened trying to understand him but the music the kids listened to was just not my style. I would often turn back to an oldies station where Nirvana, Soundgarden, Metallica, and The Doors played. Knowing the guitar of choice for some of the oldie bands was an old Fender it influenced my decision for what I bought my son. So I had given him my gift and he was strumming it a little trying to gain the feeling for it. I was bringing out some of my old music CD’s and blowing the dust off my stereo. Now a days everything was controlled by streaming from the net so you never needed to actually touch any media. I bought out an old Door’s CD to let him listen to what history says he will repeat. I think in the end he got frustrated with me as I was trying to give him appreciation for music that I loved. I had tried listening to his stuff and didn’t make the connection and now I was hoping we could do the same through this guitar.
Time fast forwarded a few years and I saw in some cases slow motion replay and in others super fast replay me pushing my son away by trying to make his dream what mine for him was. I pushed him away bit by bit each year. Where my father was not there I smothered mine and he went out each night staying out longer and longer until he would not come home for several days. According to my friend who worked for the police dept he was playing late at night in a rough club. I tried to imagine my son playing music for a few hundred other people and them connecting with him through his music like I was trying to do through that guitar. The connection I would never be able to achieve because though we both are the same we are so different. One night I got a tip on where he would be playing and went to the club. It had been 3 days since I had seen my son. It was also the first time I heard myself speak his name. I entered club seeking out son asking people if they knew where Kenneth was. Then I saw him up on stage standing there with the guitar hanging off his shoulders a bent and lit cigarette hanging from his lips leaving a little trail of smoke that weaved between his bangs and his eyes while he looked down to the floor. Occasionally a bit of ash would drop and land on a his hand but he didn’t seem to mind. He was slowly strumming along while someone in the background hidden by the haze would be playing bass. No words came out of his mouth for the music said everything. He was playing a cover of a Door’s song called “The End” I had never felt so proud of my boy and I snuck back out of the club. I was certain he would be ok that we would be ok.
Fast forward through time a bit more. I am an old man now. Hitting my 50’s my son is now 22 and travels around the world playing music for people. When he made it big he asked me what I wanted and I told him I only wanted him to be happy. He gave me a Fender like the one I had given him so long ago. He kept his still and played it during shows. One day while I was sitting in the den playing with the strings trying to learn how to play as I never did have the time or patience for it. I was sitting there trying to pull the first line out of “Light my Fire”. It was then my wife entered the doorway. She never looked so sad before. I went up to her and the tears started falling in her eyes. As she lost control she started yelling at me it was all my fault. Her fists beating against my chest as she blamed me for something I apparently did.
When she calmed down a little she spoke again, ‘You encouraged him and now he’s gone. Its all your fault.’
`What do you mean he is gone?’
`I got a call a minute ago from his girlfriend. He OD’d last night after a show. … they….’ She broke down crying again. We both slumped to the floor holding each other as we mourned the loss of our son. The loss of a dream. The fulfillment of prophecy I had spoken that he was destined to repeat history. I meant that the great songs of the past would help him learn and make new songs for the future. How could I have imagined he would follow the same footsteps as previous musical artists?
I dreamt I lived a life full of troubles and joy. I dreamt I was a man being a father. I dreamt I failed.