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The Story of Skinny Ham (Spencer Black-Lafayette, LA)

In his plain white keds, jeans and a black shirt that barely covered his pregnant belly, Skinny Ham stepped into the empty bar. It was still hours before he had to perform, but he could already hear the chants from the audience and the feedback from the microphone. He saw the sound guy giving him a thumbs up and his fingers gliding up and down the fret board of his guitar. 

Before stepping into the empty bar, he really did experience these things. He traveled the country performing with his punk rock band. He sang, he played guitar and he traveled. He opened for big acts and eventually big acts opened for him. 

But even before the band and before traveling the country with just one van and zero groupies, he didn't have a father. The music gave him something to talk to when his father wasn't there. He never was there. Forming the band, it was his best decision he ever made. When the music stopped giving him the satisfaction he needed, once they became famous and he became bored. Drugs were the second best decision he ever made.

After gaining fame and a modest fortune and a skinnier than healthy look, this guy, Skinny Ham, he received a phone call from the father. He said something like, “How did you get this number?” and maybe more of something like, “Who are you anyway?” but we definitely know he said, “No, I'm not giving you any money.”

Way before the father's phone call, Skinny Ham begins living in paradise. He opened for a big band in a big venue. Going back to see the band play after putting gear up, he and his drummer ran into a man with a girl over his shoulder. The girl was screaming for help, but Skinny and the drummer only walked away towards the show after the man put his finger over his mouth and shushed them. 

After the phone call but before really hitting the bottom, Skinny Ham went to the father's funeral. He hopped out of the the tour van that parked on the side of the street and saw the father buried into the ground. Skinny Ham didn't have any words to say and quickly hopped in the van and started kicking the gong around.

After the father, after the bystander effect, during the drugs, Skinny Ham was interrupted washing dishes at his old apartment with whom shared with his band. His bassist talked about how the belt broke and he fell. Skinny just continued washing the bent spoons and plastic cups. The next day the bassist was found dead.

Somewhere down the line, after the death of his friend, Skinny finally found the Father. He no longer needed to fill an empty void with loud music or with a heart-shaped gong. He felt something inside of him and felt guilt for the things he didn't do.

Skinny Ham saw the empty bar eventually become packed with a raging audience. The sound guy gave him a thumbs up. He still had feedback from the microphone and the audience still chanted his name. And he played his acoustic guitar by his lonely self. Trying to get rid of all of the emotions where the void was filled.


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