If music be the food of love, play on- William Shakespeare
Music really was the food of our love, a canapé. My guitar leaned against the wall.
‘Do you play?’ Cassidy said.
The guitar looked embarrassed. Pink with a heart-shaped hole, I’d bought it for this girl who wrote little songs about wheelie bins. She sang like a bird in a coalmine. She needed heart-shaped things. When she left, I was stuck with it.
‘Play something,’ Cassidy said, looking for her shoes.
I didn’t want to, but it was better than getting into the guitar story. So, I played, the song from Watership Down, not that well. Cassidy got back in bed. We did things like rabbits.
Music was the big fat midnight snack of our love. Cassidy woke me in the middle of the night. Shaking my shoulder, she whispered.
‘Play something for me.’
‘ What? Now?’
I looked at the clock, ‘Go back to sleep.’
She handed me the guitar. I took a tortoise shaped toothpick out my pyjama pocket. My fingers were sleepwalkers. She didn’t care what I played, so long I did. The song over, she looked full, happy as someone taking a nap after a good meal. ‘I love you,’ she said.
Music was the cheapo chocolates hastily bought at the garage of our love.
Cassidy stood with her arms folded as I walked in the door.
‘I want to talk to you,’ she said.
I picked up my guitar and played Elvis, badly, I even sang Wooden Heart. She met my eye, laughed and looked loved up. For a second, while she was laughing she looked scared, as if she didn't know how to stop.
Music was the anorexia of love.
‘You’re lucky,’ Cassidy said.
At least it wasn’t the right hand, everyone said. That's something. It is. There’s worse accidents. People get used to more than losing a hand, like being hungry, waking up in the middle of the night for no reason, or looking at someone’s face and wondering where love went. That’s how it was, like eating and eating and never being full up, once I couldn’t play that guitar.