While some are fantasizing about their first taste of professionally made espresso or a stroll with friends in the park, Crown Heights resident James Hyland has his own small pleasure to look forward to when the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided: The ambitious young man has been learning guitar in quarantine and just can’t wait to get out there and ruin his first party when this is all over.
“I’ve got this old six-string that’s just been hanging around since college, collecting dust,” says James. “I figured what better time than now that we’re all cooped up inside to finally master that thing.”
“A six-string is a guitar,” adds James.
And while some have been hesitant to pick up hobbies that disturb the peace of their shared space, James is not in the least bit concerned.
“It’s actually kind of perfect because now there’s live music in our house 24/7,” he says. “I’ve never been that great at the sort of cleaning countertops, taking out the trash nitty-gritty of domestic life, but now I have something I can contribute.”
But the thing James is most looking forward to is carrying his huge acoustic guitar on the subway to the first party he’s invited to and absolutely ruining it with his attempt to transform the social event into a surprise concert.
“I’ll probably start with ‘Blackbird’, I’ll know how to play it by then,” says James. “Then I’ll do ‘Wonderwall’, like, as a joke about guys playing Wonderwall at parties so it’ll be sorta tongue-in-cheek, but also ‘Wonderwall’ is awesome.”
“Then I’ll do a quick Hozier mash up set to make use of the intimate venue,” he adds. “Then obviously finish with ‘Stairway’.”
However, despite James’s pure and horribly self-indulgent intentions, he’s managed to pick up some enemies along the way.
“If I hear the intro to ‘Stairway to Heaven’ being jarringly fingerpicked with full seconds between each fret change, I swear I am going to commit a crime,” says James’s roommate Zola Heyward. “I’m literally in a band and even I don’t play in our living room.”
But there’s no negativity powerful enough to make James see reason.
“I don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner,” he says. “Now I never have to worry about parties. I’ll just be the dude with the guitar, and everyone loves that dude!”
For now, we only hope James stays safe and doesn’t find his harmonica.