There it was. It was beautiful. He saw it behind the glass in the pawnshop window. Staring back at him was an old guitar, the neck broken and held together by packing tape. Lots of packing tape.
A little bit of wood glue could fix that. A little bit of effort. A Saturday afternoon and the night to dry.
He could be playing by Sunday morning.
It was a humid Friday evening. He had ten dollars in his pocket. Payment from mowing the grass the day before. It had rained that morning and the grass was still wet. It took him two hours to cut when it would usually take only an hour. The mower kept getting clogged. Over and over. Over and over. Choking on green clumps.
Would ten dollars be enough? He didn’t know. He entered. He was nervous.
The cashier nodded, a small acknowledgement to let the young customer know he was welcome, before going back to his phone. The cashier was laughing at the tiny screen in his hand. Happiness in the palm of your hand.
“Excuse me, Sir.”
The cashier looked up from his phone. The young boy before him looking barely old enough to drive.
“How much for that guitar in the window?”
The cashier looked over and laughed as if the sight of the guitar was the screen of his phone.
“I’ve been trying to sell that thing for months,” said the cashier. “Thirty bucks.”
The boy’s heart sank.
“All I have is ten. Sorry to waste your time.”
“Ten will do just fine!” replied the cashier. “That guitar is going to take some time to fix. You prepared to do that?”
The boy’s eyes lit up. His breathing grew heavy. His teeth shown as he smiled.
“I’m definitely ready!” replied the boy. He placed his ten dollars on the counter and the cashier gestured with his hand over to the guitar.
“It’s yours now,” said the cashier. “Go make something wonderful.”