Can a 6 string be as effective as a 12 step program? That was the question. And why not just go in to a 12 step program.
There's a reason it's called a "support group". There will be people there to support you. But the idea of a support group, at that time, had a bad aura to me. Foolish pride can block beautiful relationships. Looking back, almost 9 years later, that the support group would've been awesome! I could've met new friends. Networked with like minded people. But no. Not Chad Cavanaugh. Because I'm too smart. (that was sarcasm)
I spent my days alone. Miserable. Me and this guitar. A friend, Mark Kuwik, had shown me the CAGED chords and some scales. I took it from there. Finding issues of Guitar World and Guitar World Acoustic that had tablature of songs I liked. I would see the name of the chord and get intimidated. But when I saw what the actual chord was I would breathe a sigh of relief at the fact that I didn't have to grow an extra finger or hand to play it.
I began writing numerous songs. Usually based in a G-C-D structure. I found that my need to have something in my hands, like a beer or cigarette, was becoming satisfied with this guitar. Slowly and painfully was the learning process. But as the callouses on my finger tips began to grow and harden, my skills began to slowly improve. Next thing I knew, it was 3 months and about two weeks. I didn't feel a need at all to drink or smoke. I had been studying to get my real estate license, get a career going (at the age of 28-better late than never) and had just taken the state exam. Now, all I had to do was wait until Tuesday to get the results online to see if I passed or not.
Up until this time, I was working in a sign shop with my cousin. He didn't really have work for me or much he could pay me. But he made room for me anyway. One of the great acts of kindness shown to me. In surfing terms, it was a great Aloha he had bestowed on me. To give even though he couldn't. He struggled with his own bills but willingly brought me in to help me. How do you repay such unconditional generosity? I was wholly appreciative of this, but knew that I wanted to do more. Hence, the real estate. It could be a pathway to stability. My own home. Become my own island so to speak. So I was rally anxious to get started in Real Estate, and Tuesday was a day I had been waiting for for months. My patience with my situation had long since expired. I was ready to be on my own, cultivate relationships and start a life. But It all depended on Tuesday. Tuesday was the end to months and months of waiting to start a new life...
Tuesday was a day that began with the phone ringing earlier than would be deemed considerate. I didn't answer it. I remember thinking to myself, "I have no love for a phone call this early". It stopped ringing. A minute later, rang again. I heard my cousin go out of his room and answer the phone. I couldn't hear the words being said. I just remember the hurried footsteps towards my door. A rapping at the door.
"Dude, you gotta get out here and see this!" there was panic in his voice. My first thought was that a coyote had gotten a hold of the cat and I was going to have to clean up the mess. Then he said "they flew into the twin towers".
This Tuesday was September 11, 2001.
We sat all day, as the rest of the nation did, fixated to the horrible images on the screen. It had been 3 and a half months. I wanted a cigarette...
To be continued...