Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Last Song Syndrome 4: Soundgarden (Spoonman), circa 2000 (and as long as Ariel is around)

"Feel the rhythm with your hands
Steal the rhythm while you can, Spoonman
Speak the rhythm on your own
Speak the rhythm all alone, Spoonman"

- Soundgarden, "Spoonman"
A few days have passed and I am already itching to put up this post, while another topic remains to be written. But pardon my apparent misappriopriation of priorities, I just cannot help it.

I am obviously writing this piece with Ariel in mind. Ariel is this extremely fascinating man whom I met many years ago in this country's premiere catchbasin of both common and exotic orthopaedic cases (but I'm biased :D). He's good-looking, his academic performance is impressive, but it is his artistic tendencies that make him interesting in my book. (Give me my roundtrip ticket to London, Ariel. Right now!)

We had the chance to be together in this little party band in the workplace. More accurately, I had the chance to be included in this band that saw yearly reincarnations: members come and go. And with a reason: this band was made up of resident orthopaedic physicians, who do come and go, perpetually in academic transit.

The party band played songs that would suit the preference (and the capability) of the majority. I was the band's weakest player, hands down, and I was assigned to what Ariel termed as the "pidgin bass guitar". On the other hand, he did lead guitar. We played twice; both were hospital parties, where people got wasted and could not care less if our playing sucked or what. The repertoire was predominantly '80s music: Modern English, The Police circa '80s, U2 circa '80s. Mostly lightweight, with Ariel providing some alagwa via brief, restrained, understated guitar solos.

The reality, though, is that Ariel must have wanted to play heavier stuff, and I wished then that I could play just as well, because it is him whose musical taste is most similar to mine. It was quite frustrating on my part because I was far from being a competent musician.

Once he brought his electric guitar. I believe it was a weekend. We camped in a room and after a while he started playing that familiar riff.

Me: Spooooonman! Come together with your hands!

Will you teach me how to play Spoonman? I begged Ariel, and in the next half an hour or so, there I was, struggling with the chords (no thanks to my lazy fingers) while he guided me using an acoustic guitar. It was a scene that made me seem pathetic, but at the same time I was glad it was Ariel who was teaching me how to play....

And since then, everytime we'd see each other in the corridors, or in the wards, or the quarters, we'd find ourselves blurting "Spoonman!", while everybody else wondered what that was about.


Recently, after a long while, Ariel resurfaced in my life. I have been looking for him for quite sometime, so suffice to say that finding him made me more than glad. Ariel, for me, is a great reminder of how happy my life was some 8 to 9 years ago. And as long as he's around, Spoonman will always play in my mind. Cheers, Ariel!

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