A guy at work has – literally, by number – 43 guitars hanging on the walls of his music room. Two stacked amps, a drum set, and a professional recording set up complete the ensemble. A month ago, he brought a guitar to work and gave it to me. Out of the blue. He said he was piddling at home and remembered that he bought a Gibson Les Paul copy a few years ago at a yard sale. He put new strings on it, plugged it, and played until he decided it sounded pretty good. He’s run out of room on his walls, so put it away in his entry closet. We were talking about guitar playing at work and he remembered he had this thing stashed in his closet.

I was flabbergasted when he gave it to me and thanked him like it was the only word I knew. I bought a little Orange amp and have had tons of fun with this thing but have learned that, since my accident, my brain just doesn’t talk to my fingers the way it used to. I’ve been in bands or playing guitar in some fashion for most of my life. I grew up playing in lousy garage bands and at any party that would have me. Whatever band I was in, we always had the same motto: the drunker you get, the better we sound. I got serious for a few years and settled down to study classical guitar, but now, nothing quite works.

I saw the guy who gave me the guitar the other day and told him my sad realization: nothing works like I want it to, I said. “But you know what? It’s still the best gift ever. I just strap it on and turn my little Orange up to six and make a lot of noise. “

He burst out with huge laughter. “That is the best description of guitar rock I’ve ever heard. Just makin’ lots of noise. Man, I’m writing that one down. Maybe over the door to my music room.”

So that’s it. A guy gave me a guitar and it’s been the best gift ever. And I make lots of noise.

Here’s to noise.