1. Guild D40 NT
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    1980. Made in Westerly, Rhode Island.
  2. Purchased used from Spruce Tree Music and Repair in Madison, Wisconsin in 2001
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    I am sixteen and I casually mention to my dad that I am interested in learning how to play the banjo. We drive three hours to Spruce Tree where I sit in a room and am brought several banjos to try out. The room is not soundproof, I have NO IDEA how to play the banjo, and there is a legion of super cute college boys hanging around the shop strumming guitars. I am mortified. My dad insists on buying me something. I insist on this cool guitar instead of a dorky banjo.
  3. Good condition
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    For the next few months I teach myself a few chords and some scales, but I never really get into playing my guitar. In 2008 I move out of my parents house for good and clean out my room. I move to an apartment in Chicago, and then to Montreal for two years. I loan the guitar to my musician friend, Jeff, indefinitely.
  4. Solid spruce top
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    I come home for Christmas 2009 a little heartsick. I see Up in the Air in the theater and change my flight back to Montreal so that I can spend New Year's Eve with my crush. We start dating and I move back to Chicago to be with him in the spring of 2011.
  5. Solid mahogany sides
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    Summer 2012 we see Sad Brad Smith play at an event for Jeff’s theater company. It’s an intimate setting, and I quietly geek out. Jeff tells me they hung out earlier and Sad Brad Smith played my guitar. I geek out a little bit more but am too shy to say anything. I am very happy and very much in love.
  6. Lacquer finish
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    In June 2015 a friend of my boyfriend’s asks me about my guitar, wondering if I’d sell it to him. I had honestly forgotten about it. I don’t sell it for reasons that will escape me in the future. Plus, he lives on the other side of the country, and the logistics of getting the guitar to him become complicated.
  7. Light or medium gauge bronze strings
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    I go to Seattle for the 4th of July, 2015. My boyfriend decides he can’t afford the trip, so I meet my cousin there after a day on my own. I tell her how much I’ve enjoyed myself so far, and how happy I am when I travel. The next month, my boyfriend travels to Portland, Oregon to visit his friend who wanted to buy the guitar.
  8. A few minor nicks and dings
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    One week later we break up.
  9. Includes a used hard case, a new leather strap, and owners manual
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    Throughout the fall of 2015 I buy new clothes, I fly cross country three times in four weeks, I drink a lot, I go out to shows, I make new friends, I replace all the things in the apartment that were his, I give no fucks, I go into credit card debt.
  10. $1000 or best argument to keep it
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    It’s January, and I am quietly freaking out about my debt. I decide to sell the guitar. I need to see a friendly face, so I go over to Jeff’s house to pick it up. We chat for a few minutes and catch up. I talk about keeping busy and looking for creative outlets. Jeff has other plans tonight, so I leave. I am home alone. I think about selling the guitar. I think about learning how to play the guitar. I think about writing this list.