Tiny Essentials Of Life

These things are the tiny essentials of life.

We tend to think of the grand things we can’t live without, but these were the simple, tiny things that made his life. He slipped a mint into his mouth before sliding the packet into his pocket. He’d been paranoid about his breath since he was a teenager, and he hated leaving the house without some mints on him. It was crazy, really, he knew, but it made such a difference to his self confidence.

Then he looked for that other all important accessory, his guitar pick. He couldn’t find it. He could never find it. What was it about plectrums that meant you could put them down, look away, then look back and they were gone? His favourite pick had been missing for months. He knew it had to be somewhere on the desk in front of him, there was nowhere else it could be, but, still, he couldn’t find it. He knew from experience that one day it would just be there, sitting in front of him, and he’d wonder why he hadn’t noticed it before. He’d move something or nudge something that he’d moved a thousand times before and there it would be; smugly suggesting that it had always been there, just waiting to be found.

The pick revealed itself to him and he picked it up and looked at it. Its edges worn with overuse, the Gibson USA logo almost faded to nothingness now. He looked over at his acoustic guitar and sighed. There was nothing wrong with the guitar, it was a good guitar, it just wasn’t the Les Paul that he wanted…the guitar that he had so vividly dreamed about the night before. That guitar had felt so right in his hands, and when he’d played it, it had just sung for him. The dirty blues rock had just poured out of him through the guitar and it had felt so good. He wondered why he never had the courage to do what he’d done in his dream last night. Why he’d never gone into a guitar shop and asked to try out a Les Paul Custom? After all, he’d never even held one, it might feel all wrong, and it might not be his ideal guitar, perfect for him in every way. Maybe that was it; maybe he didn’t want to shatter his illusion. He couldn’t afford one, maybe he’d never be able to afford one, and so why destroy the dream?

It’s the tiny essentials of life that fuel our dreams. Our mints, our picks, our pens, our paperclips…that lump of blue tack you keep on your desk and sculpt into a million different things over the years. They launch us on journeys of the imagination, flights of fancy, and without them…without them…we’d be lost.

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Ian Sharman
Ian is a freelance writer and artist. He founded Orang Utan Comics Studio with Peter Rogers in 2006, writes for their Eagle Award Nominated anthology Eleventh Hour and regularly inks for Panini’s Marvel Heroes comic.
Ian Sharman

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