A true professional playing just for me. Ooooouuh it's gonna be epic!!!
Lukas was flying home so we left our little paradise for the noisy Puerto Escondido. I had only known Lukas for a few weeks, yet we bonded like brothers. Travelling with someone acts as a catalyst for relationshipa. You get to see it all in a short period of time: the good, the bad, and how they react under pressure. We hugged and promised to meet again. Lukas kissed la Chichona a last goodbye and disappeared in the back of a cab. The sunglasses covered my wet eyes.
Marco and I came back to a hot, humid, and crowded La Punta. It was a radical change from the peaceful Tierra Blanca. Three whole days under the pouding sun at the beach was exhausting. We needed a break. At that point, comfort meant a cold shower, shade, and silence. We were listing our options over breakfast when an old man in a Hawaiian shirt overheard us speak French and engaged Marco.
His name was Guy, he was from Quebec and his wife Sandra accompanied him. Guy talked in long monologues. He had travelled the world and had lots to share. I wasn’t paying attention until he mentioned he played the harmonica. It is rare to find a harp (harmonica) player among musicians. Being one myself, I was immediately hooked. He had been playing for 35 years and played shows with a band in Puerto Escondido. 35 years of live performance, Guy was a rockstar! I was eager to hear him play and hoped to learn a thing or two.
Guy talked to everybody… about himself. He liked our van adventure and invited us for drinks at his house. We were skeptical. Not only did he talk too much, but he was also shamelessly racist. Marco and I faced a dilemma. To endure Guy and enjoy the comfort of a house or struggle to find a shower under the mind-numbing heat.
It felt soothing to be in a house: quiet and cool was all we needed. We showered and made plans for diner. Later on, I found out that Guy and Sandra were my friend’s in-laws from Montreal. Pleased by that crazy discovery, they invited us to stay with them during our time in La Punta. We accepted. I was working most of the day and stayed home with Sandra while Marco hung out with Guy and his friends. Sandra was an angel: sweet, caring and generous; the perfect grandmother. In contrast, Guy was self-absorbed, arrogant, and craved attention. I declined his invitations due to work but Marco was not that lucky. He took one for the team.
At night, we switched roles. Guy took me out to a beach front bar where he would meet his friends every other night. A bunch of creepy Canadian retirees who spent their evenings commenting on every girl that crossed their field of vision…pathetic. They triggered me. I felt disgusted and angry. Those horny geezers projected my worst fear: to end up just like that.
Within an hour I’d had enough and asked Guy to leave. He did not like it but I insisted on hearing him play. I guess he must be asked a lot. So we left. Back home, we sat on the kitchen table and he took out his bag of harmonicas. He had the best brands in all keys: Hohner, Lee Oscar, Suzuki. The gear of a true professional. I was more excited than a kid opening his present on Christmas’ morning.
Guy started blowing…and the magic vanished. He sounded like a beginner blowing notes for the first time. There was no tone, no rhythm, and no melody. He was too loud and did not even play on the beat. He left no room for silence. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!!!? 35 years and this is how you play??? How can you be so bad!!?
Since then, I lost all respect for the man and started pondering on the meaning of life. How can one be so delusional. How can he be so out of touch with reality to the point that he genuinely believes his own bullshit? Then it hit me. His music was an expression of his soul. He craved attention so much that even his playing reflected it. By believing he was good, he never considered that he could actually improve. He wouldn’t listen to anyone anyway, not even to the beat.
Guy made my ears bleed for 5 minutes. I sat there and took it, all that noise right at my soul, grinding my teeth in pain. My innocence died. I flinched often. Yet despite his atrocious playing, I couldn’t blame him.
I did ask for it.