SAINT JOHN, N.B. — It is a tale of a love grown weary, a journey of self-discovery and the road to recovery for a New Brunswick musician, heartsick over the demise of his nine-year romance.
And all of it is told in an emotionally raw sales pitch from Adam Kierstead — a self-described nerd hoping to unload the “badass” guitar he bought on impulse months after his relationship fizzled.
The Kijiji ad — which had already garnered more than 3,160 visits by mid-day Tuesday — features a 2008 Gibson Reverse Explorer with pictures showcasing the telltale angular design favoured by metalheads and spandex-clad rockers.
Beneath is the forlorn, 770-word story of how Kierstead acquired the used brown guitar and why he decided to part with it.
It starts with the couple driving home from Cape Breton last September after a friend’s wedding, when both realize their relationship was sputtering to a halt.
“We’d glance over at each other every few minutes, neither wanting to start. Finally, she did,” Kierstead writes. “So are we breaking up or what?” The response: “I guess so.”
What follows is a painfully honest account of how Kierstead, a musician in several Saint John bands, coped with love’s loss.
In an email to The Canadian Press Tuesday, Kierstead responded to an interview request by saying, “I am already feeling a bit sheepish about the amount of attention my ad has gotten thus far (although it does appear a sale is pending!).”
In his Kijiji ad, he describes being forced to stay in “our — now her — home” for weeks after the split.
“It became clear almost immediately that she was ‘winning’ the breakup — she was more social, laughing more, killing it at the gym,” he lamented. “But here I was, 32 years old, sleeping on a camping cot in my ex’s storage room while I looked for an apartment. I was miserable.”
Kierstead went onto say he had never considered himself reckless or prone to excessive drinking or spending the little money he had in a foolhardy fashion.
But, he says when he got a call last October from a local music store letting him know about a used Reverse Explorer that had come in, his self-restraint and presence of mind flew the coop.
“I was out the door and in the car in seconds. My opportunity for in-character wanton recklessness had finally arrived,” he writes, explaining the joy he felt upon entering the store and picking up the instrument.
“I plugged the guitar in and cackled as I fumbled through a couple of Slayer riffs (I did an awful job). This was perfect. This was just what I needed. I handed over the cash and left with my treasure.”
Kierstead, whose Facebook profile picture features the bespectacled musician wearing a plaid shirt and awkwardly holding a gold-coloured cat, said the joy was not long-lived.
A year after the purchase, he said his ex was in a new job, settled in with “a kind, gregarious, much-better-looking-than-me man who treats her like gold), and a new cat.”
For his part, he said he had moved on, was happy with his own new cat and remained good friends with his former partner, even going for the odd coffee date.
Then, he says he was “yanked back to reality” last week when he was out buying some beer for band practice and a man in his 50s said, “Out of my way, nerd.”
Stunned, Kierstead said he flashed back to the many times in high school when he called the same thing.
“I realized something: I AM a nerd. Yes. Irredeemably nerdy. I can’t play anything as completely badass as a Reverse Explorer in good conscience,” he said of his epiphany.
“I have a Duo-Sonic. My amps don’t even have distortion channels, for crying out loud. I have to pass this thing along to someone deserving. It truly is time to move on.”
To that end, Kierstead posted the ad listing the guitar for $900, adding that he may consider a trade for a full-size ventless dryer.
“That’s mostly a joke, but also some insight into why I’m actually selling this guitar,” he states, ending on a hopeful note.
“Thanks for reading. Really, I’m fine.”
The Canadian Press