In high school I played drums for two rock bands. Both jammed and rehearsed regularly in my basement. I began drumming in eighth grade— I took ten lessons practicing on a pad and then quit my tutelage and bought a full kit. Before my plunge into percussion I studied piano for three years and clarinet for three separate years; I neglected both and today I can play neither. It is easier to pick up and more difficult to lose drumming skill because the drums do not require a technical knowledge of notes and scales, but rather rhythm, creativity, physical strength, and a tolerance for repetition. I possess, I believe, the first and second characteristics innately, if at a novice level, and so I still enjoy percussing recreationally in short bursts. I lack the third and fourth, however— I never had the athleticism required for rapid drumming nor the physical or mental endurance to keep a static rhythm throughout long sessions.

Whenever I go home I take a look at my old drum kit and instantly feel a nostalgic longing for those Saturday nights of my youth when the basement was filled to the brim with the smell of teen spirit— it is a dank bouquet of testosterone and naive ambition and microwaved Sabbath leftovers. Today when I watch drummers perform at Terrace I feel a strong sense of admiration for their craft, and a bitter sorrow for my abandoned dreams.

Am I handsome? There are days when my face is clear and my hair all in place and I believe that I am very comely, and there are days when I am unduly scruffy and pimpled and I despise my own reflection. I am not hesitant to describe a fellow male as handsome when I believe him so, and it is comforting when others disagree with my judgment— if beauty is subjective then no single man is granted universal privilege by his phenotype. Still, there have been many occasions when I have craved to ask a friend for an honest appraisal of my look, but I never have because I know that if I were asked such a thing from a friend of mine, I would of course spout compliments regardless of my true estimation. On the other hand, I must confess that there are moments when I gaze upon the visages of other men and thank God and Fate that I look like myself and not like them.

I never had the athleticism required for the Nassau Weekly nor the physical or mental endurance to keep a static rhythm throughout long Ted Garmizo sessions.