Standing on the porch the man surveyed the wooden deck. Three pillars to hold up the roof, a wrap around to where the stairs down rested. Each of the pillars aligned along the railing in front of him. Cocking his head to the side, he looked at the bundle of rope in the one hand, and the aging wood in front of him.
Shrugging and smiling to himself, he wrapped one end of the rope around the stairway railing, pulling the rope through the metal loop on one end to fasten it securely. Turning around, he strutted to the pole farthest away from the now tied rope. He threw the rope out an angle, letting it arc around the pillar and swing back into his waiting hand. Pulling it through the metal ring on that end he looped it through itself and pulled tight.
A few more adjustments and it was done. The hammock lay stretched diagonally across the porch. Pulling a swig from the cider on the railing, he carefully manuevered himself over the rope netting. Lowering himself onto it and stretching it. The weight of his body pulling each side taut and his hand outreached for his guitar.
Strains of blues began to drift from this hanging man. The notes rising between the awning and railing. Rolling over the cars in the driveway and towards the ears of those passing by. He played until he heard a dreadful noise. The stretched and strained sound of each strand of fabric letting go of its brothers. One of the strands dislodged, rolling the hammock violently and tipping the man to the side.
Balanced on his hands, the man leaned the guitar gently against the wall. Turning, he saw the top netting had twisted around itself somehow when he tied the loops. Standing, he loosened the knots and unwound the twists in the rope. Throwing it back over the pole, he tied it once again and tested his weight. More groans of the net greeted him. Sighing to himself, he untied and rolled up the hammock.
His goal of enjoying the blissful warmth after the cold winter, he eyed the railing again. This time taking up a perch on it, resting his foot against the wood, letting one leg hang down. A warm breeze blew by and ruffled his hair playfully. Smiling, he fingered a G and let the chord ring out over the neighborhood. One chord led to the next and soon enough the strings of "I want to hold your hand" were echoing off his home and onto the streets below.
Not one to play a song for longer than too long, the chords quickly migrated to being finger picked, and improvisation began to weave its way into the music. The chords rang forth triumphantly between arpegios and runs. Slowing down, a blue note sprung between the notes. Liking what he heard, the player played it again. Running up the scale towards the note then pulling the string into a bend and letting the sad note swing out.
Now the key changed, a more mellow tone started beating from his guitar. The mix of chords and trills interjected with his hand coming hard against the wood of the instrument. Drumming between strokes, the strings came out, unmuted, muted, upswing, downbeat, finger taps. His eyes closed and his hands settled into a familiar pattern, a blues bar laced with offbeat rythm.
As he played he watched a couple cleaning their porch across the street. Bikers pedaling by, and the occasional jogger running. Letting the music play out what he saw, it slowed down for the tired logging man walking home from work, sped up for the jogger looking like encouragement wouldn't go amiss.
Staring in to the sky his fingers found an E major and let it shout out. Moving the pattern of his fingers up a fret he let the spanish sounding progression trill. Finding his next pattern within a B minor, his fingers let it slide down into a chord he didn't know the name for. But the spanish sound and rythm stayed strong. Getting into it, he let the fast strumming accent each beat, imagining horses galloping and dresses twirling.
Opening his eyes, he spotted a toddler on a tricycle looking around, trying to determine where the music was coming from. Drumming on the guitar he let one of the chords sound a little louder than the others. The note resounded off the porch to the child's ears. Chin turning up, the kid saw and smiled. No longer pedalling and just listening. His mother wandered from behind the wall of the house and looked up as well. Smiling at this man playing spanish guitar for her son. They mosied along, and the man switched it up some more.
This went on for an hour or so. Random strangers walking by and looking around, wondering where the music they were hearing was coming from. By this time, the couple spring cleaning had settled into their porch swing and were sipping on some drinks. The music had continued throughout the hour and the man shifted on his seat.
Transitioning into his final melody, the tune shifted into mostly drumming. Tapping out the beat on the golden wood of his acoustic. The muted steel strings added syncopated bounces to the tune. Letting a major progression come out at the beginning of each self-measured measure, the chords hit the beat hard. A, A D, D, D E, a run down and then back up. The blues started picking up more. Pausing to drum for a bit, he downed his cider and spun the bottle onto his finger and started playing slide guitar with it. The swaying melody dripping onto the driveway below.
His fingertips raw, and the skin around his picking hand's nail red. He shifted off the porch railing and stretched. Another warm breeze bade him goodbye as he walked back into his house and called his brother for a birthday greeting.