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Foto: Maarten Zeehandelaar

Yesterday I asked my dad for a guitar. You should have seen him, so happy. But when he asked me what brought this on - I played the piano for a few years when I was a kid, but stopped when mom died – I couldn't tell him, just couldn't say. He looked a little hurt so all I said was 'It's a long story', like he does when he doesn't want to talk about stuff. He smiled again and said he would get me one for my next birthday. The truth is, it's not a long story at all, but it's a strange story - a story I don't understand.

Last summer a man came up to me and said I actually reminded him of music. Not in general, but song so and so by band such and such. I didn't know what he was talking about, he was already much older, like, my dad's age or something, but it was nice that he said it. So I thought he was just lonely and wanted to talk. Then I noticed he couldn't keep his eyes away from my breasts, just like the guys at school. But this guy was old! He started to creep me out. We were sitting on a park bench. I looked around to see if anyone could see us. I think he noticed, because he got up, apologized – he was really clumsy at it, I remember, almost stammering – and then, just before he left, he said I looked really sad underneath it all and should read something called the Sacred, or Secret, life of the Love Song. I thought it was a really hurtful thing to say before you leave someone. My sadness was really, really none of his business.

I totally forgot about that man until last week when I saw the last Harry Potter movie, The Deathly Hallows, first part, for the umpteenth time. There is a scene in that movie that has music which, every time, makes all sadness in me stir, like goosebumps on my skin. But not in bad way. It is a warm fuzzy feeling, and the scene and the music are very, very beautiful. It's the one where Harry and Hermione dance together when everything looks really bad for them. Everybody at school was talking like they were romantic or something – but that's just stupid. People don't look right. They don't listen. Friends also love each other, don't they? This was all that – love between friends in a sad moment. The music brought them joy.

So last week I finally looked up that music on the internet, and there it was: the band that man had been talking about, the music that came into his head when he looked at me. At me. This music. It was so strange, so weird, what I felt then. I remembered that sacred life thing he said and looked it up as well. It was a lecture about love songs, about how the truly truly good ones all contain something dark and thereby really come to life. That's what I want now, to write a song like that. That's why I asked for a guitar.


Texto por: Peter-Jan Vermeij


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Copyright © 2010-2014 Maarten Zeehandelaar.

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