Boggy thought about his acoustic guitar all the time. He carried it with him to school and through closets, then buses, airplanes, and in other people's cars. When the Mitchell acoustic wasn't ensconced in its hard-shell case, Boggy would stare at its inlay patterns—fretboard—whispering names. He shined the Mother-of-Pearl dots with a Q-tip soaked in Pledge.
CASE FILE # 372 – Lewis, Bogdon: Dreadnought top. Abalone binding. 2-1/8" string spacing at saddle. It was the Mitchell he loved.
Boggy's sentimental attachment to the instrument went beyond anything anyone could call normal: ate with it, slept with it, climbed across its steel strings with his nails every morning. So by the time of Twelve, it was finally decided—a father deciding—that Boggy spend more time at the Pine Grove Clinic. And it was on the second day that Dr. Adelberg diagnosed Bogdon Lewis with Acute Object Paraphilia (C.F. 372).
When Bogdon was Seventeen he wouldn't let go. When the Admissions Director at Amherst asked him to please leave the guitar case by the office door, Bogdon said no.
"No," repeated Bogdon.
"Quit making me a monster," his father said to Bogdon, driving past a Dairy Queen in Hadley, MA. Raymond shot a quick glance at the rearview mirror, at his scrunched-over son. "You had the whole weekend to screw things up!"
The rental car was a Cadillac Escalade, and this was Western Mass., middle of the Fall; Bogdon and his father, Raymond, were driving back to Motel Six, from Amherst College, where Spring was a Matriculated student in Prospector's clothes.
"I'm afraid we can't start the interview if you don't leave the case outside."
Bogdon's grip grew tighter.
"Mr. Lewis? I said, I'm afraid we can't—"
"I'm not a bad guy."
Typical of attached children his age: Bogdon had missed a transition, that at the age of Nine he wouldn't stop strumming: the touching, the tapping, the amber purfling pickguard dented in 8,000 places.
And when Boggy was One, Raymond had driven them both 2,030 miles from the Bronx to the dessert, inside an Oldsmobile Cutlass. Then the engine failure.
The exhaust caught on fire.
Smoke clouds spewed forth against the windshield like fountains of locust, and his Interstate was blocked; blotted a path for a car made blind, pulling over to gravel.
Leaping outside—Raymond screamed, swung open the back door to see his infant son coughing through smoke. Boggy in wailing red. Inside the sticky beige of leather now torn, the infant saw his milk bottle on a patch of raised carpet, curdling.
C.F. 372 – Lewis, Bogdon: 4 studs at the base for standing safely upright. 4 lock-over catches. Chrome handle.
Sixteen years ago, a backseat fell to flames, and the luggage carried; seven handles to hard-shell cases that got in his way. Raymond—he, made for this moment in the split-second smolder—reached for something softly amid their desperate smoke: hands culled closer to a neck, Raymond pulled past the hollow body and saved a sitka spruce tree instead. His acoustic guitar.
Slightly more scarred, if only by degrees, Bogdon called his daddy monster inside the Dairy Queen in Hadley. But didn't Choc Cherry Love always do the trick? Bogdon's favorite comfort food was like a blanket inside him. While frozen in time was a father's decision: save Baby Boggy first—or tune a guitar.
Six pegs twisted before turning
Mitchell came first.
C.F. 373 – Lewis: Attached to neck-rest now. High degree of internal damping. Anchored at the body-end with bridge pins. Raymond sees the mahogany inlay of a burning car.
's work is forthcoming in the Underground Voices Anthology
. After graduating from Bard College, Jamez went on to become the first Korean-American to release a hip-hop album, Z-Bonics
(1998), in the United States. Jamez is a regular contributor to Blog Dot Squalorly
, and he currently works in the video game industry in NYC.
'Bridge Pins,' is the third of a three-piece set dealing with the Sandy Hook tragedy. The first, 6 to 5
, and the second, Good Guy with a Gun
were recently published in Marco Polo
, respectively. 'Bridge Pins,' does not overtly tackle the issue of guns or gun control head on. But underlying the story is a much more implicit notion: that object attachment is deeply rooted in our society—whether gun, blanket, pacifier, or guitar—and in many ways, entrenched in our National psyche, passed down from father to son.
And split-second decisions are not always won.