I'm taking old stories from a college road trip and retelling them from another point of view. Here's my pov of story two: We watched the Bearcats lose in their typical March-fashion to UCLA on St. Patricks Day in Flagstaff, Arizona. We sipped Guinness as a 13 year-old bagpipe virgin terrorized our ear drums. His insane mother/teacher thought it made perfect sense to hold his first lesson in public. It sounded like he was torturing a goose. And maybe he's gotten better since then, but that day he was the worst thing to ever happen to music.
Aaron, 13, is very blond and very German. His grandpa was born in Bockenheim just outside of Frankfort and came to the US in 1917. St. Patrick's Day has as much significance to their family as First Nations Day (Canada's June nod to their natives). Despite this, Aaron and his mother Kat, 43, walk into McTeller's with a new set of bagpipes. They were the first of eight booked bagpipe players that day. Kat lied earlier that month about Aaron's skill level.
Aaron holds the door for his mom. "I don't think I wanna do this."
"Sure you do. You were so excited last night."
"Yeah but there's people."
"Oh...there are four man babies drinking beer at 11 in the morning. Don't worry about them."
"I still wanna go I think. Please."
"Aaron. Who's idea was this? Hmm?"
"And who said he needs to practice if he thinks he's going to play in front of our entire family and all of grandpa's friends?"
"But it's not going to be for years."
"How do you know?" Kat pulls the pipes out of the case and hands them to Aaron. "It could happen at any time. You gotta be ready."
"Maybe he doesn't even like bagpipes. Maybe it was a stupid idea."
"Aaron. He's going to be dead. You could play the trombone for all he cares."
Aaron stares at his mom, shocked by her bluntness. He loves his grandpa. More than baseball, more than the Hustler magazine he and his friends have hidden in their woods, more than his 12 old lab, Saddie, who also is going to die soon.
Kat recognizes she went too far. "I'm sorry. It's not a stupid idea, Aaron. He will love it."
Aaron looks, deciding if he believes her. "How do you know?"
"Cause I know. But you have to practice. He won't love it if you don't practice. Now c'mon."
Aaron regains his strange but noble courage, and fills the bag with air. He takes a quick glance around the room. It'll be fine he says to himself. He pictures his grandpa inside that pillow-filled coffin wearing a blue suit. He does need to practice. His mom is right. Using his bony elbow, Aaron sets out on his terribly loud, maiden voyage. His grandpa could have been more proud.
What is the Bible?
2 weeks ago