Not long ago, I misspent my youth trying to learn the chords of a
A minor, B flat, C major, there were enough to confuse my head.
So I often switched off and listened to my radio, fishing for tunes
and I stopped if I could catch a song by Dylan or Dire Straits
and corrupt a white canvas with bold strokes of colour.
(But I’d soon give up, being equally impatient with art as I was
Linseed oil anointed my futile efforts with canvas and colour.
But I loved my brushes, their crisp strokes with cool music
warbling in the background. Brothers in Arms, the Dire Straits
album I adored, powerful lyrics with great tunes,
Cover tastefully done with the photo of a steel guitar.
Perhaps youth wasn’t that misspent, with memories wandering
through my head.
I remember the first sip of alcohol, it went straight to my head
I remember then watching television, blind to the primaries of colour.
I remember buying my first instrument, which did not resemble a
I remember it being a clever little keyboard with built-in tunes.
I remember my record collection swelling with different genres of
I remember separating the genres and eras with little gaps, like tiny
Though it could’ve been a daring youth, and I could’ve
ventured out in search of music,
I didn’t travel. Only in my imagination. I saw places, heard
I had many friends, who hung around me, and uselessly strummed
When I’d get bored with them, I read books and stored facts in my
Those books trekked me through African villages, crossed the
And I discovered a Manhattan jazz joint, by then I was stoned on a
Women: I dated all types, for they could narrow those chasms
That otherwise widened without any rhyme or reason in my head.
The last girl I dated, I shared my passion with her; she was artistic
and loved music.
Though we clicked, she said my personality was dull, it lacked
So my heart lost faith in monogamy. It married the six strings of
But I could never stop quarrelling with any of them. They sang
I thought I would paint forever or create my own repertoire
I was merely nineteen; I had my tubes of paint and strings for my
But the subtle rustle of my paintbrushes, and my jingle-jangle
left me unprepared to face real challenges; I neither had the heart
nor the head.
And before I knew it, my vision fractured, I found myself in dire
The alchemy of my artistic ambitions had lost the lust for colour.
Today, I lie on my back and watch my cuticles grow.
My guitar stands by my head, not seeking tunes. But Dire Straits
still makes me dive deep in nostalgia, to atone for a misspent