In those days, my pulse quickened like the beat of that song I used to listen to on cassette tape, no less. Energy bubbled through my veins and around the room where I knew you and I and he and she and they would be, the entire phenomenon as surprising and as touching as the smell of the first winter snow. Now everything is digital, and as the temperature shifts again in a different city it can be hard to find even a tree at which to marvel with no leaves in the cold. The tree will have lost its clothes for the year and rather than point and laugh, I know this holds a certain sadness. vulnerability, perhaps. You always knew the right song to play at the right time. I’d always forget the tunes.
It didn’t take long for me to understand I was intrigued by song lyrics, despite their lesser power than the vigor and heartbeat thump of bass and beats. Yet in encyclopedic fashion I memorized bands, dates, times and venues all with the aim to impress and rise and try to channel the ideal song for the right moment. At that point, I’d ruined my nostrils and my senses, so I was not longer able to to tell when it was going to snow, but living there, being there, felt like a perpetual freeze, even though it lasted no longer than anywhere else, and the baseball team was better, they said. I never managed to get the crowd roaring with my songs. You did.
Always the perpetual cheshire cat of the dance floor, you provided the masses’ soundtrack with which to welcome the spring, even though I never understood your taste. That was a problem. I liked my tapes and predictably enhanced heart rate, and lacked the finesse and right kind of casually disenchanted style to truly be a firefly of the too-short night which inevitably began on a warm porch, drinking, smoking, thinking of the next song to play. You kept picking songs. I did not.
I packed up my tapes, eventually, and transferred them all to mp3, but I carry them with me every time that I move. Just as cumbersome as my books, these tapes…I still play them, even though their sadness reminds me of those unclothed trees that had to stand up against the winds from off the water. You didn’t notice them and their discomfort. I did.
As the minutes roll away, the days go by, another grey hair appears, you’re still letting those same songs reverberate and boom to an empty room. I broke my last iPod and stream music quietly now. I don’t care if I find the right songs anymore. I just like to find them. And then to revel in the joy of creation, always being sure to carefully note the lyrics.
“I didn’t need these things. I didn’t need them.”