Douglas LeVecque and his parents, Elise and Chuck LeVecque, were driving to Douglas’ little league game against the East Anaheim Lil’ Bats when they met the Guitar Man. It was the first game of the season, and Douglas was seated in the backseat, holding his open palm out the open window, floating it through the wind.
When they stopped at a red light, he was the one the Guitar Man approached with his story.
“Hello child of the Glass Generation,” the Guitar Man said as he approached the car. “Do you want to hear a yodel about a time long gone?”
Douglas didn’t know how to feel about this. He usually liked music. His older cousin Corbin had recently showed him a Tame Impala song and how to hit a box vape, so he considered himself an audiophile to say the least. However, he wasn’t too sure about this Guitar Man, who was covered in hundreds of teardrop tattoos.
“Ummm… okay?” Douglas whispered, afraid his parents would hear him in the backseat over their audiobook recording of the screenplay for Goodwill Hunting.
“Yes, well, that’ll be forty dollars,” the Guitar Man grinned. Douglas dug the five dollar bill out of his sock and forked it over.
“Will this be enough?” he whispered, begging for reprieve from having to hear Sir Ian McKellen, who was narrating the audiobook, do another Ben Affleck impression.
The Guitar Man took his money and smiled. Then he began his song. It went a little like this:
I sing a little song,
I do a little dance,
Opium out the bong,
He didn’t stand a chance.
I killed forty kids,
Then I killed forty more,
Snatching them from car windows,
Don’t even unlock the door.
Poor Douglas LeVecque,
What a sight to see.
Found cut in three quarters,
The fourth was inside me!
The Guitar Man bowed as he finished his diddy. Douglas was scared, but not scared enough to do anything. “What was that about killing forty kids?” He asked.
“Oh, I just needed a rhyme for door,” the Guitar Man responded bashfully. “Songs are mostly about rhyme scheme, lyrics never really mean anything. Hey Jude was really about the Great Depression.”
Douglas didn’t know much about The Beatles, but he had read about the Great Depression in Pre-AP History, so the Guitar Man’s story checked out.
“Wow, that’s really cool,” he said, smiling wildly through his missing two-front teeth. “Hey! Mind if I hang out with you instead? My parents are being really lame right now and I’m soooo bored.”
“Sure thing lil man,” the Guitar Man said through a wry, cracked smile. “Hop on.”
Douglas did as he was told, hopping onto the sidecar of the Guitar Man’s electric scooter. They rode through the streets of Anaheim, past homeless shelters, crack dens, tweaking addicts, gunfire, and broken glass. They rode far away from Douglas’ parents, into a dark world where the Guitar Man could finally be alone with his newfound child. They drove off the edge of the map. Then they drove past the point of zip codes, into thin air.
Then they arrived at the East Anaheim Little League Park, where Douglas hit three home runs, racked up six RBIs, and caught the game winning catch. At one point Dylan Molly’s dad passed a kidney stone so the Guitar Man stepped in and got to be first base coach. During the seventh inning stretch the Guitar Man brought out orange slices, and the team loved him for it.
Afterwards they got pizza and ice cream and they played Madden 11 until the sun went down. They laughed and told stories. They even ding-dong ditched Old Man Daniels’ place. He was too slow to catch them. He never stood a chance. It was the second best day of the summer, right behind the one where Douglas and the Guitar Man got married.