Awake but still asleep
Awake but who would know
Who is in control?
Of this strange freak show

(Un)Control M.S. 1989

I guess it would not have been unexpected if after those strange sexual visions that blended Andrea and the starburst orange Stratocaster it saw me toss the guitar away in disgust, saw me treat it with some sort of contempt which stopped me being so attracted to it, but that’s not what happened.

It’s like suggesting that the visions I had while having sex that morning were brought on by the marijuana that I had smoked and therefore I should have given up drugs. An addict, and that’s what I was even if I didn’t know enough to admit it at the time, can not simply give something up because it’s effecting them in adverse ways. No. An addict looks for other reasons, looks for something else to blame, looks for anything to blame but the real cause. And I was no different.

I didn’t know it at the time but even before I had as much as strummed that guitar I was addicted to it and there was no way that a few visions were going to break that addiction. If couldn’t break my need for the marijuana and the alcohol that fuelled those visions, how could I break an addiction I didn’t know I had?

I didn’t immediately pick the guitar up and start playing it. What happened immediately, well nearly immediately, was that Andrea got herself up and left for work and left me laying on the bed naked and staring at the ceiling. I don’t know if I was afraid to go to sleep or sleep just wasn’t knocking on my door but I do know that sleep was very elusive all day.

When Andrea walked back into the bedroom that evening I was still in the same position as when she’d left, laying naked looking at the ceiling. Whether I had rolled over, twisted, turned or even twitched I did not know. I couldn’t even have told you if I had slept or nodded off in that time, because to me it felt like Andrea leaving and Andrea arriving were both part of the same scene.

She must have realised, or suspected I was awake because as she closed the door and walked towards the bed I remember her saying, “Hello Sexy!” She then stepped up to the bed, bent over to kiss me on the cheek, grabbed my manhood at the same time and added. “Have you been waiting for me?”

At her words, or more than likely her touch, I flinched and moved away from her. I guess she was used to seeing someone coming down from something because she didn’t take offence to my movement she simply sat down on the mattress beside me and asked if I was OK. I knew no different so of course I told her I was. However what happened next was probably a sign that I wasn’t quite as OK as I thought.

Now I had no idea whether Jim Hellcon was present in the house at the very time, the odds were obviously fairly high given that he spent most nights at Steve’s place, but I didn’t know for sure. But that didn’t stop me doing what I did.

Swinging my legs and twisting my body around Andrea I rolled and shuffled myself to the edge of the bed. From a sitting position I reached forward, grabbed the soft guitar case and pulled it towards me. Once it was in my lap I quickly unzipped the cover, I was in such a haste the zipper jagged itself several times stopping it in it’s tracks and slipping from my finger. After several goes I finally had the zipper open enough for the guitar to come out. I yanked the cover off with my left hand and once it was free of the neck I dropped it careless on the floor not at all worried were it landed.

I stared at the guitar sitting on my lap for several moments, apparently long enough for Andrea to ask what I was doing, but I don’t remembering hearing it. Then out of the blue I stood up and with the guitar in my hand I paced to the closed door. Again Andrea questioned what I was doing but I didn’t hear her, inside I opened the door and began rushing down the hallway and towards the lounge room where I though, hoped, guessed, Jim Hallcon would be.

“JIM!” I called loudly from half way down the hallway. “JIM. JIM!” I rounded the corner of the hallway and stepped into the lounge still not sure if Jim was there. Andrea was behind me calling out for me to stop but I still didn’t hear her. “You have to teach me to play this guitar!”

The only sound I heard, or the only sound that registered was the sound of Jim’s voice. He wasn’t sitting in the reclining chair I expected him to be in but he was on the opposite side of the room on the couch with his right arm draped over the shoulder of a Chinese woman who looked like she was wearing more make up than clothes.

“You mean right now?” Jim asked.

“Yes Jim. Right now!” I replied as Andrea stepped up behind me saying my name and putting her hand on my left shoulder.

“Shouldn’t you consider putting some clothes on first?”

I looked down at myself. Until that moment I had not even given clothes a thought, all I had been thinking was that I needed to learn how to play the guitar and that Jim Hallcon was the person who was going to teach me.

Funny thing about Steve’s place, as I have no doubt already shown it wasn’t like other places, it was a twenty four, seven party for starters but it was also a place where those who stayed were laid back and didn’t care what others did. We had our fun and our jokes, but we didn’t have vindictiveness or bastardy, or if we did it was quickly removed. Where in any other gathering of people it would not have been unusual to expect laughter, finger pointing or teasing at my nakedness in Steve’s place all I got was a cheer for standing there butt naked with a guitar in my hand screaming for lessons.

Needless to say Jim was more than happy to give me lessons, his only request was that I went and put clothes on.

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