Jack was a 35 year old, single man, who had been playing drums for the past five years to keep himself occupied. He was a clerk (he called himself "direct customer relations consultant"). There was a pride that he took in his work, always greeting customers with a new smile, offering any advice that he could, while still maintaining his professional integrity. He worked at a grocery store, so while bagging groceries, he might make a suggestion on a recipe to the customer. When offered this advice, customers typically responded, "Is that so?" or "Thanks for the advice." From this response, Jack managed to delve deeper into his topic. "And if you just add a little lemon," or, "Try it without salt first," or, "If you decide to add potatoes," or anything else that seemed worth when it came to preparing that type of food. He managed to offer this advice in the exact amount of time that it took to bag the groceries of the customer, as well. He never really did admit it, though, but he had a sort of longing with other human beings. It is true that this desire is in everyone, but he felt that unless he could get a good-hearted, warm response out of those around him, that he would not be happy.
As well as being the proud direct customer relations consultant of the local Food-Go, Jack was a percussionist for a jazz band. He had been with them for three years, and even managed to play quite a few gigs with them. His decision to become a drummer was influenced largely from the fact that, although his work was satisfying, he needed something different. Not to mention that he wasn't doing a whole lot of other stuff at the time, either. His five years playing drums had served the purpose well, but Jack simply lost interest to him. It was just a colorless, odorless flower. He then decided to sell his drum set. Before putting an ad in the paper. He gathered up all his drum equipment. While going through all of his drum-related instruments, he found all of his notes and papers. They included musical notes, songs, beats, tips, notes, suggestions, ideas, the works. He must have spent at least two hours going over all the material, a smile on his face the whole time. The memories of the clubs, of the band members, of the times at practice, began to flood back. He couldn't help but try out some of the techniques he had designed, or the songs he had written. He played that night and he was the only member of the audience. It seemed as though he had awakened a part of his brain that seemed asleep during the past few weeks of drumming. However, when he had concluded his final jam session, he decided that he was through with drums, and that he was going to sell his drum set. "How lucky the buyer will be to have my notes!" Jack thought to himself.
"Drum Set For Sale -- Hit Hat, Crash, Cymbals, Tom-Toms, Bass Drum, Bass Petal, Snare Drum -- Comes With Five Years Of Notes." This is what the ad read, as well as contact information. It was the last part of the ad that Jack thought was the best part: "Comes With Five Years Of Notes." His life, his heritage, was in those notes, and those who bought the drum set would get everything in them. He felt a sort of happiness overcome him to be able to do this. Two days after the ad was in the paper, he received a phone call.
"Hello," Jack answered the phone.
"Hi," the called responded, "I'm interested in that drum set that you're selling."
"Oh," Jack said, a smile broadening. He gave the caller his address. The caller's name was Lenny and he said he would be at Jack's house in 40 minutes -- possibly the longest 40 minutes he had ever waited. He tried to watch TeeVee, but it wasn't enough. He incessantly thought about the drum set. Much of the time was spent just looking out the window. Lenny came, but by 10 minutes late.
"Hi, you must be Jack," Lenny said as Jack opened the door.
"Hi, yes, I'm Jack," he said with a smile that appeared almost awkward to his guest. They shook hands.
"And this is my son," Lenny said, "Kyle. He's eleven and interested in playing drums."
"Oh," Jack said almost disheartening, "Well, come on in and let me show you the set." They went in, but it was more like showing them the notes. Jack did briefly cover the drum set and its mechanics, its properties, qualities, but he went over the notes carefully with Lenny so he understood so he could tell his son about them. The drum set was in the garage and Lenny had come in a truck. They loaded the drum set into the back of the truck together. Only a moment after that, Lenny had paid Jack the modest price that he had asked. Jack was about to give Lenny his notes, but then he said, "Oh, I forgot a few pages." He put the notes on a table and rushed into the house. He frantically searched through the magazines on his coffee table. His mind still scattered, he opened the door to the garage, saying, "Hey, did you see any -- " He looked out of the door of the garage. The notes were still there. Lenny and his son were not.