Framenta Historia

We present here a historical document of profound importance. It dates from the first week of January, 2003, a time when the young men were still entrenched in the thorough procrastination of the latter secondary school years. The fragment of the electronic exchange begins:

L: how do I play C/B and C/A?
M: 030010, C/A i don’t know off hand

This cryptic code makes little sense to the reader uninitiated in the parlance of that most particular of acoustical instruments, the guitar. The mentioned “C/B and C/A” would sound a descent from the radiant C major chord, as its bass drops to the depths of an awaiting A minor, C major’s morose cousin.

It is not clear if “L” has previously initiated the conversation with more standard formalities and this is an incomplete fragment of the dialogue, or if the “in media res” effect was present in the original interaction. The next lines indicate that “L” may well have recently arrived, perhaps previously fully occupying himself with his musicianship:

L: was trying to play rebecca deville
L: quite unsuccessfully I might add

“L”‘s self-deprecating attitude is clear both from his undercutting statement with regard to his playing ability and, perhaps, his very choice of songs. “Rebecca Deville,” a traditional ballad style narrative by M. Jennings, is a tale of despair and lost love. Perhaps “L”‘s unrequited love for “M” or some other unmentioned object of amorous feelings is implied by the choice of songs. How, indeed, as “L” asks, does one play “C/B and C/A”?

That is, how does one express the slow descent from elation to melancholia and despair that is the nature of any lost love? “M”‘s technical, even scientific, response, “030010,” reveals his mild cold-heartedness, but perhaps also his ignorance of the despair that surrounds him. Indeed, he has never even experienced the depths of “C/A,” a bass line that has descended too low from jubilant C major for him to even understand without consulting an outside reference.

“M” responds with muted interest,

M: heh

Will “L” further ruminate upon his day? Undoubtedly. But that will be the subject of another volume.

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