A Banjo Romance (or: A Banjo’s Heartstrings)
No, seriously, someone challenged me to write a Banjo romance. As in, a LITERAL Banjo romance.
“I’ve been watchin’ you,’ Barry Banjo said from his corner of the studio. “Watchin’ you watch Lutey. watchin’ you get your strings snapped, watchin’ you cry out in that dulcet way of yours,”
He didn’t know what possessed him to say such a thing even if it were true. For so long now, he’d kept it to himself, this need to shake her, to ask her why she let herself get hurt by those as would treat her lower than she deserved.
Not that he was what she deserved, no sir, no matter that he couldn’t keep her music from his core. All he knew was that none of the other instruments were worthy enough to breathe the same air she did. Ain’t none of them fit to so much as to brush up against her stand.
This time however, this time he could no longer keep his silence.
Lutey was no good for her, what with his airs and his pride, his need to demonstrate constantly how he was better than everyone else…everyone including Becky, who shone with a light all her own.
From where she sat, Becky gazed loftily over at him, her bright strings shining with an odd glow.
“Do you truly see? Are you so sure it’s been Lutey my song has been playin’ for?’ Becky Banjo retorted. “You see so much, but you understand so little. Barry, you got the strings, but you certainly ain’t got nothin’ in that there resonator if you think it’s been him that’s been keepin’ me tuned to grief,”
“I…” Barry’s notes stuttered, caught entirely off guard.
“You what?’ she twanged sharply. “If you think I’m gon’ be waitin’ forever for you to see some sense, you ain’t half the banjo i thought you were. If you won’t sing the tune I know you’ve been carryin’ in that neck of yours, you can’t blame me for wantin’ someone who’d sing to me the way I deserve,”
“No,” she stood proud. “Unless you stop being such a clanging cymbal with all sound and no substance, there ain’t no point talkin’ further ‘bout this,”
In the space of a second, in the dim twilight, Barry finally understood that now was his moment. A strange elation begin to flood the empty space inside of him.
Taking a breath, he knew it was time to sing…