Tim Gibbons

HA&L Biographical Sketch for contributor Tim Gibbons

My Roots

On a long ago summer day
of my green, hazy teenage life
I caught the bus
from Hamilton to Toronto
and dreamed my future wife
Down the 401 I sped with my
six cans of beer
I knocked off the last two
on Yonge Street
sat on a toothsome bench
and smoked a joint
Then I walked to the liquor store
and bought a bottle of rosé
began gulping that and
smoked a second joint
Then I stumbled around for a while
until I scored a lump of hash
off a perv in the arcade
The sun was going down
as I smoked that rolled up with some backy
Now I was ready
Finding a dirty doorway I
pulled the old brown box from
its cardboard case and
tuned her up nice
The strings were old and heavy,
Black Diamonds, and they hurt like hell
to press down the first position chords
E C A minor
I began to play and sing the
old country music
             Kawligia
             Hey Good Looking
             Whole Lotta Shakin'
High heeled Secretaries would smile and
toss the odd quarter
Frat boys would stop
and laugh for a while
Suits would rush by
their butt cheeks clenched in fury
After a time a young native boy
tugged on my sleeve
"That's for you," he held out a twenty
"From that guy over there"
he jerked his thumb in the direction
of a buddy -- a blind
Indian in a wheelchair,
his black hair shoulder length over
a greasy green army khaki
I walked over to him,
"Hey man, are you sure about this?"
He said "Yeah man, keep it. That was
the best Creedence I ever heard."
I thanked him and asked him to hang on
to my guitar for a minute.
I rushed around the corner to the liquor store
and got another bottle of wine
I came back and we passed
that bottle back and forth.
The old country music rolled and rattled
I didn't even have to try
             The Green Green Grass of Home
             Mansion on the Hill
             Haunted House
             Six Days on the Road
The music channeled through me like a
silver satellite beam from a radio tower on mars
We drank and told each other our stories
At last the bottle was empty
and it was time to go home.
The teachers of high school all told me
I'd never amount to a pinch of coon shit
and they were right.

Now, enjoy My Roots by Tim Gibbons.  °

[This HA&L biographical sketch © 2008 MA.]