100 Days Project

Ben: 100 Writings / 100 Opening Guitar Hooks

various, random creative expressions / writings, inspired partially by 100 popular songs (songs that somewhat begin with a leading hook of a guitar.)

Day 13:

”So Far Away” (1985) by Dire Straits

”So Far Away” (1985) by Dire Straits


My ex-girlfriend, Samantha bought her car off one of Steve’s old flatmates, Heath. It was around 2002, I believe, and he gave it to her for a grand. (Heath was always dodgy. He took the money, didn’t even bother paying Steve the next week’s rent and left the face of the planet. Someone told me he’s currently working for Mainzeal in South Otago. Steve wants his address.)

I remember one day after my Sunday shift at Pak N Save, she said she’d pick me up. Pick me up? Did she buy a car? Ooh, I was eager to see. And just in front of the handicapped spaces, was a 1978 Nissan Datsun 120A coupe, 12,000 kilometers, orange (but that could be due to the rust), 4 cylinders, 1200cc, Manual, the left backdoor didn’t open and the right back window was stalled, Rego and Warrant due in a year, Number plate: “HEATH” – all with a smiling brunette in the driver’s seat.

“What? Did he sell this to you?” “yeah, whatta d’ya think?” “I’m happy if you’re happy!” “well, I’m happy!” “well, let’s go for a spin! … where’s Heath anyway?” “um, I don’t know, he said he was going to the dairy.”

Sam was just happy driving. Like her father, she found driving relaxing and soothing. We just drove, drove enough to keep her quietly happy before the typical onslaught of talking I’d receive if we went straight home. While she was figuring out the best way to ease the clutch, I had a nosy around the vehicle. Dug, deep in the backseat was a $20 note! Woo hoo! That was dinner sorted! We drove to the local drive through. (Even if Heath remembered there was a $20 note in the back, we wouldn’t admit to that suspect bastard anyway. Besides, we weren’t gonna see him again anyway.) Behind my seat in the pocket, I found a Golliwog doll … which was odd. “I’m going to have to vacuum this car. It’s disgusting.”

Rustling through the glovebox, I found nothing spectacular except … for Dire Straits’ album, “Brother in Arms.” “Does the cassette player work?” “What? Um, I dunno. Oh, please don’t play it – just let me drive.” “oh, c’mon babe, it’ll help ya relax even more.” “argh, okay.”

David Knopfler’s thick strumming kicked in, just before his brother, Mark, slid up the guitarneck with that instantly recognisable hook. I let the song play, watching her drive. Knopfler’s voice was comforting. (It was also gravelly. When I first heard the song, ten years before, I thought it was Bob Dylan. Only was I corrected in that moment.) “I like this”, she said.

When we got home, I left that cassette in her car. Being more a music fan than her, I would’ve stolen it for myself, but as she liked it, it was best to leave it in there for her. Don’t forget this, was before mp3’s. I always listened to my Walkmen and was always interested in listening to music. Having said that, Dire Straits was not only great car driving music, but maybe, just maybe, she’d become a music fan too.

A year later we broke up, for one reason or another. She moved to Melbourne and is currently a business owner of something or rather. I see she’s found herself a new man as well. I haven’t spoken to her ever since I said a normal greeting to her when adding her on Facebook. She seems happy. I did look at her Facebook “likes”. But unsurprisingly, she’s a fan of Dire Straits (and strangely enough, AFL team, the Essendon Bombers.) I’m glad. I may not have rubbed much on her, but I see she has a better appreciation for music now than before we met. She probably didn’t know, but after we broke up, I eventually take that cassette.

And I still have it today!