Thursday, December 29, 2011


Carl was an aging rocker. His long flowing rock and roll hair was getting grayer with every passing day. His leather jacket was frayed around the cuffs and the zipper didn’t work but he’d never stop wearing it. It still smelled like all the pot and rock and roll of the 25 years he’d been wearing it. He’d be buried in it.

He got off the train and started working his way through the crowd. He was adept at working his way through crowds thanks to all his years as a concert go-er. He had developed a kind of sixth sense for the way certain groups of people would drift or sway and he could anticipate where the openings in the throngs would be. He could move through a crowd like a cop car through traffic. It was something he was proud of.

He’d yet to fully embrace the new technology though and thought he was a little behind in that regard. He had seen all the kids with their iPhones and MP3 players listening to music on the train and he was a little jealous of their immediate ability to hear their music. Carl remembered waiting to buy an album at a store and hurrying home to play it. That bus ride from the music store to home was agonizing, especially if you really wanted to rock. Now these kids just downloaded the song and could hear it immediately.

Carl wondered if he was becoming an old man. He was certainly starting to act the part, what with being jealous of the younger generation. That was something his parents did and what Carl swore he’d never do. He didn’t want to lose touch with the rock, but it seemed that sometimes, rock was losing touch with him.

Carl went to his regular corner coffee shop and picked up a double/double and Danish. Scotty Patel was at the register as usual, standing straight as an arrow. He never relaxed at the counter. He was always vigilant and attentive, like a gazelle on the plains. Carl stopped and picked up a copy of Guitar Rock Monthly from the magazine rack and tossed it on the counter.

“It is a great issue this month my friend”, said Scotty.
“That’s cool, seemed a little thin though.”
 “Yes. There is very much competition with the internet. Magazine are likely not to be around much longer”, said Scotty.
“That sucks”, said Carl.
“Yes my friend. Times are changing”, said Scotty as he put the magazine in a bag and opened the register.

Carl nodded, said his usual, “Keep on rockin’ ”, and headed back onto the street. A car was stopped at the corner with its windows down.  Some new rock song blasted from the speakers and the kids in the car were drumming and playing air guitar, getting really into the song. The car pulled away when the light went green with the kids inside belting their young souls out to their new anthem.

“Rock is rock and it will always be”, thought Carl and he smiled.

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