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  • Writer's pictureDanielle Hayden

What's Your Bass?

Updated: Dec 15, 2020

My father's house caught fire last week. Everybody survived and is okay, but of course it's awful and tragic and I wish it had never happened.

Our conversation about this may seem unusual to outsider: He told me days after it happened (he always waits to tell me sad news because he doesn't like to upset me) and our chat was peppered with a few of his rueful jokes. I didn't expect to find any humor during the exchange—his fucking place had burned and is uninhabitable for the time being—but Dad has a way of bringing it out of me.

A little later he mentioned, quite casually, that he managed to save two of his bass guitars while the place was burning. His longtime girlfriend was safe, as well as her foster kids; that fact was most important. But second only to them were his instruments.

I've been checking on him and helping him as best I can, and the circumstances make me woeful and worried. But I also can't stop thinking about it: This man saved his bass from a burning house. I've long admired how my Pop lives for his art and I was reminded that once more by the pair of five-strings he rescued from the blaze.

Looking after people is a given, and I don't have pets anymore, so what else would I save? What is my bass? My notebooks? My journals? Maybe. If I were still living with my mom I'd say photo albums. Just something to ponder in between being so thankful that my father is alive and well. So I leave you with this, reader:

What is your bass?

Also: Thank you so much to the American Red Cross for disaster relief.

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