Appreciating Talent

Summer vacation had barely started when George made the decision to give up on his summer resolutions. He popped the cork on a bottle of Kentucky’s finest and got serious with a race to beat the melting ice cubes. He also gave up on reading, instead turning to Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and watching with hazy intent Jerry Seinfeld and Margaret Cho amuse the hell out of each other. George thought, “It’s cool when comedians laugh at each other.” That only lasted thirty minutes and there was more ice to race, so his glass was conscripted for another battle and the channel was changed to AXS and Bruce Springsteen in the uncomfortable position of having to watch people sing his songs while he waited to accept an award. George, bordering on foggy, could almost hear Bruce say, “Beautiful,” as Emmylou Harris sang with her angelic voice. He thought of Bruce, “That’s cool that he likes what she’s doing with his song.” All too soon, that show was over, but the bag of ice still offered a challenge and George was home alone, so he decided, “What the hell,” and flipped to PBS. There were the Highway Men, kind of a cross between the Beatles and Cream for country music. Each member, Willie, Waylon, Johnny, and Kris, sang a song of their own and songs written for the group. The guys all stood in awe of each other, appreciating the skills and magic of the others to make music that was cutting through the whiskey and showing George what gratitude and appreciation for the craftsmanship of others was all about. The PBS fundraising barkers came on and George’s pit bull needed his last nightly walk, so George broke from his search for cowboy boots on the Internet and waddled down the hall. They went into the soupy night and walked to Crick’s favorite spot. George looked to the sky, recently cleared of smog and clouds by quick hitting storms, to see the Big Dipper, it was so close that he thought he could almost drink from the gourd. A smile broke his momentary spirits inspired delusion. He smiled because of his realization that the beauty he saw in the sky was the result of another artist, One making it all possible. George and Crick headed back to the house. Willie was picking his raggedy looking guitar and letting loose with a most beautiful tune. The guys looked on, strumming and smiling, on-stage witnesses to Willie’s inspiration. George wondered if Bruce would like this song and how Jerry and Margaret would appreciate the talent of Willie. He quickly swallowed the last of the whiskey, crunching a thin piece of ice just before it melted, and turned off the television. The stairs proved to be an inconvenience, just as moving the dog off his spot would be. With his pillow just starting to find the right shape, George thanked God for everything and fell into a deep sleep, smiling, of course.

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