While my guitar gently weeps (Part 4)

Poker face

Chatting about this and that, we finished our insipid snack and strolled back towards security. Amidst so much chatter, I had completely forgotten about the whole guitar story. Seriously. I’m not just saying this to sound innocent or anything.

Truth is, I can’t bluff. Can’t play poker or anything that requires bluffing. When the game is mafia, a thousand winks and nervous ticks give me away. I’m a hopeless liar.

Attachments and detachments

Just as we were saying goodbye, my friend pointed out that I was still carrying Archimedes. It was then that the whole drama dawned on me again. If it weren’t for this, there’s a chance I would have gone through security all natural and calm, completely unaware of my contravention. As it was, I was too self-conscious. I wouldn’t be able to make it. So I started to say goodbye to Archimedes for good.

As we moved through the security line-up, I read very carefully the sign listing all the items prohibited aboard: fire weapons, cutting objects, aerosols, shampoos and other liquids for personal hygiene, even water. Nowhere did I find listed “guitars and other musical instruments.”

At this moment something clicked in my spirit. I clang to my guitar and started to explain to my friend that I would rather take the risk. For I thought to myself: Archimedes, though dear to me, had not been dear in the financial sense of the word — I had bought him for less than the $120 excess fee. Given that we had already spent more than twelve wonderful years together, I think that the initial investment had already paid itself many times over. Any extra time together at this point would be over and above what was expected.

Bottom line: the headache of leaving it behind or paying extra to have it arrive in Brazil in pieces was not worth it. If I could take it with me for free, great; if not, the best thing would be to let him go alive and well.

I even started to rehearse the speech I would make when intercepted: “Ma’am” (or “sir”), please take this guitar with you, and give it to someone you love, a child, godchild, nephew or niece. This guitar is much cherished, take good care of him. His name is Archimedes.”

Fall back plan

With the speech well-rehearsed, I arranged upon my shoulders backpack, guitar and courage, took a deep breath and walked towards security. My friend called me back for a final recommendation: “Look, I’ll be watching you from here as you go through security, until you get to those escalators there at the end. I’ll wait here for another ten minutes or so after you’re out of sight. If anything goes wrong remember I’m here, and you can come back and pass Archimedes to me, ok? Your turn now, go – and good luck!”


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