An excerpt from the novel Crazy Heart by Thomas Cobb:
By the time the sun is full in the sky, he is starting to climb the hills. He is, he figures, another hour away from New Mexico. Along the side of the road the scrub brush has begun to turn to trees, and Colorado looks more like what he remembers from years earlier. He thinks about last night. He has played that drunk before, drunk, sick drunk and stoned. But he has never let go that far in front of a bunch of kids. There is a certain pleasure in taking the boy to school, in showing him how much he doesn't know about the instrument, but that sort of thing shouldn't be necessary. He shouldn't have to prove himself to a twenty-year-old.
Still, it has been a long time since he has played like that...The melodic phrase keeps coming back to him, but he doesn't seem to find the note that will carry it anywhere that seems to interest him. How much of his life has he spent just this way, tinkering with a few notes, looking for the next one in the series, looking for the one that will lead him to find the whole from the piece?