The Table

By Ojas Joshi

“Wait,” I exclaimed, “ I know how to play that!” as my cross country teammates hummed the chorus of “The Pretender” by Foo Fighters in my garage. Rushing to my room, I grabbed my guitar. Returning with a silly grin, I proudly showed them the intro I had recently learned.

30 minutes later, a jungle of amps, cables, and keyboards enveloped my garage. Slowly, we began playing  “Hotel California.” Soon, a wide, uncontrollable smile stretched across my face as I strummed my guitar. For the first time, I understood the purity of creating and sharing music.

For the rest of the summer of 2021, my cross country teammates and I settled into a routine. Every day at 9 a.m., we would run, preparing for our upcoming season. Then, we would reconvene to jam in my muggy garage; many hours were spent pouring our souls into our passions. Our friendships grew tighter, nurtured by music and running.

Once school began, a perpetual wave of homework and other responsibilities arose. Every Friday night, however, I found reprieve in our casual jams.  We would blast through the chorus of “Californication” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, always cracking up at the nonsensical lyrics. For an hour or two, I could lose myself in music, releasing my worries. 

“Guys—there’s this district wide Battle of the Bands competition that we could enter,” I shyly offered to my bandmates in March 2022. Immediately, they jumped at the idea, and we entered under the name “The Table.” Confidently, we demonstrated our musical prowess to a panel of judges and a large crowd filled with our supportive cross country teammates. While we ended up placing second, Battle of the Bands inspired us to think further. We recorded an album over the summer of 2022, composed of 4 original songs and 5 covers.

Fall of 2022 meant the departure of three members of our band, as they left for college. While I will miss our jams, our running, and our late-night doughnut runs, I watched them leave with an understanding that music had formed unbreakable bonds between us.