The man who got me started playing guitar passed away from his cancer just the other day. He died young, too. He was the music teacher at my high school, but that’s not giving him enough credit. He was so much more than just the music teacher there. He was the reason people were passionate about music at my school. He had huge classes, but always found time to help every individual who was struggling. He was much more concerned with the students than he was with having some perfect curriculum, or whatever.
He was also the most talented musician I have ever met in my life. He could have done anything with his talent. He could have made money as a studio musician with ease, if you want to argue that achieving fame is too reliant on luck. But he used all of that talent to teach instead. And he taught so many people. I knew so many people who played guitar because he taught them. He brought music to my world, and to hundreds, if not thousands of others. He was a fantastic teacher, and all you had to do was be willing to learn.
There’s a lot more I could say about him, I just haven’t had much time to process all of this. This is… this is the first death in my life that actually brought tears to my eyes. I’ve never felt a real connection to anyone else who has died in my periphery, but Mr. Wilson taught me the one thing I have that really sets me apart from other people. He’s the reason I can do something that not everyone in the world can do. Sure, I’m not the greatest in the world at guitar, but if I didn’t have this skill at all, I might have killed myself out of sheer lack of confidence before now. I don’t know that for sure, I guess, so I’m not going to say that I’m alive because of him. But I do feel more alive because of him. And I know he brought that feeling to so many other people.
I wrote a bit of a song about it. My feelings about it are very jumbled up right now, and I’ve always had a difficult time writing about death. But this is what I got, and it’s dedicated to Mr. Wilson. Thanks for everything.
There’s no such thing as ghosts
But my room felt so damn warm
when it should’ve felt cold
There’s nowhere that we go
And I know that you were trying
God, I’m so afraid of dying
I wish the world was where I was
For those years that you knew us
But the world will never know
what I know
I am where I am
I have what I have
It’s the one thing in my life
that I’ve worked for
and I have what I have
and I am who I am
This is the one thing in my life
that I have worked for
From my first C chord
to right now