These dusty blues

Prompt from
Inspiration Monday: Afraid of the wind
(200 – 500 words)


He stopped strumming and reached for his beer. Damn. His hand shook so violently, that the glass crashed to the floor and the foamy brew spread like overflowing bath water across the hardwood.

Sharon jumped up to grab a towel and wipe the spill. His hands always shook when the wind blew. It made no sense. He’d done it ever since she could remember. He could not stop it or explain it.

“No worries, she said. It’s not the first spilled beer around here, and it won’t be the last.” She tried to make light of it, but it worried her. Their friends continued talking and laughing pretending nothing had happened. Outside, the winter storm continued too as though nothing had happened. Icy snow pelted against the window and the house creaked, but they were cozy and having a great time.

Without really thinking about it, she asked him to play her a blues song. She loved the blues, but he never played the old songs anymore and she really didn’t expect him to now. He looked briefly to the ceiling and pulled a song out of the air that she’d never heard him play before.

Sharon watched in amazement. As he started to sing the last verse, the trembling stopped.

These dusty blues are the dustiest ones I know,
These dusty blues are the dustiest ones I know,
Buried head over heels in the black old dust,
I had to pack up and go.
An’ I just blowed in, an’ I’ll soon blow out again.

When he finished the song, she sat frozen in place staring unbelievably at his hands. He looked at the expression on her face, realized the trembling had stopped, and felt the lightbulb flash in his mind.

“Oh my God.” He stammered. “Now I know.  That was an old song by Woody Guthrie, Dust Bowl Blues. Dad used to sing it to me when I was a kid. I was always afraid of the wind. I hated it and the dust that always came with it. I thought we’d be buried in it. It terrified me. He’d sing that song and talk to me and make me feel like my own worries were nothin’.”

“I completely forgot.” He looked at the window, his eyes glistening. “The snow storm must have triggered the memory.”

He took a deep breath, grinned, and played another blues tune.

***

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7 thoughts on “These dusty blues”

    1. Very cool! Great coincidence for sure!
      Thanks for visiting; glad you liked my story.
      (I’m learning to play Worried Man Blues on guitar and a year or so ago, I wrote a song based on WG called Hobo Joe.)

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