I’m lying in my bed this morning, staring at the ceiling, listening to Video Killed the Radio Star. There are a lot of memories attached to this song for me. They’re not memories from the 80s, because I was just a kid when this song came out. My memories are from the late 90s, when I was a freshman in college. Back when it took hours and hours to create an mp3 file on my computer. I’d start the process of ripping a disc, and go to bed. I would wake up in the morning crossing my fingers that the process had completed correctly, and that it didn’t error out in the middle of the night. There was a peer-to-peer network on campus, and people shared their music files. They shut it down after a while, but I was there during this sweet spot when the techy kids were all excited about their brand new shiny mp3 files and the university hadn’t quite caught on yet. This mp3, Video Killed the Radio Star, was one of the ones that I had. And I remember playing it in my dorm room. I never knew the name of the person who put it there for me. An anonymous student, one of the thousands I passed by on campus every day, sharing something they liked with someone they didn’t even know.
There is an intimacy about sharing music with someone. Because music touches people so deeply, sharing your music can be like touching your heart to theirs with an electric wire. Words can be like this, in the hands of the poets and great authors. I am not a poet. But for me, sharing music is sharing those deep places inside that you can’t reach other ways. Playing music with others can be as intimate as sex (or more intimate, depending on the kind of music you’re playing and the quality of the sex). In a way, sharing music with these strangers on the college campus felt like waking up in their beds, blindfolded. I never knew who they were. Just that they were warm and breathing, hearts beating, waking up and living and loving, somewhere close to me.
This morning, I turned the music on with a controller on my phone. I didn’t even need to leave the comfort of my warm blankets to start piping the music into the room. Digital music files are no longer only owned by those dedicated enough to spend all night ripping an album. The world is filled with music, and it’s an amazing place. But sometimes I miss those early days. Before I could find anything I wanted on YouTube, and I was more dependent on the kindness of strangers.
Happy car would like to know if you are having a good day. If you’re not, happy car would like to tenderly enfold you in the glowing happiness that burns inside his happy fuel tank, which is not filled with anything as mundane as petrol, but rather with sheer, unadulterated joy.
Renting and returning a car without a friend is hard. And it’s expensive. It’s either expensive in money or expensive in time. There’s just no way around it.
There are a lot of things in life that are like this. Easy with a friend, hard by yourself. But renting a car is one of those that always seems extra especially difficult to me. I guess that getting yourself home after major surgery—cataract surgery, maybe… or bunion surgery. That would be more difficult. But figuring out how to get yourself home after you drop off the car. It always seems kinda painful.
Today, I decided on the “expensive in money, not time” option and I took a cab. I made some notes while I was on the cab trip.
1) Spraying a bunch of cologne in the cab after you’ve had a smoke will not actually make it smell better.
2) There is apparently no rule that a cab has to be either a) clean, or b) free from major dents or damage.
3) Minivans just never seem “business-like”. Ever.
4) Waiting until traffic is likely to have cleared up won’t guarantee that traffic has cleared up.
5) Walking feels way more awesome when you know that you’re saving about a hundred thousand dollars by having the cab driver drop you off blocks and blocks from your house.
6) I can’t wait for Uber Santa Barbara. That’s all I’m saying.
I love watching people who are about to get married. I love watching the ones who are just intoxicated with each other, watching each other’s every move, barely able to keep their hands to themselves when they sit down together.
It didn’t work out for me. But I still love the idea. I love watching people shop for wedding dresses and get ready for the big day. Even though I don’t want any of that anymore—I don’t want the foofy white dress or the cinderella diamonds, the fancy cake or the shiny shoes—I still like watching other people who are busy trying to plan all those things.
Maybe it’s something about the idea of getting ready, preparing. Spending time, in this increasingly busy world, on these crazy little details. There aren’t very many times that we spend that ridiculous amount of energy on tiny, tiny things that don’t really matter. But for weddings, people do it, for some reason. Maybe because they think those details are going to make the marriage better, somehow? Or maybe because they care about their partner and they want to start things off right.
I dunno. All I know is: I love watching people try on wedding dresses. So it’s super convenient that they made a show about it so I can just sit in my house and drink diet Coke (caffeine free—it’s late) and watch them while they get all fluffed up in ruffles and lace, sparkles and satin. I get to see the ones with the twinkles in their eyes when they talk about their soon-to-be spouses. That’s my favorite.
This picture has nothing to do with this, but isn’t my boy handsome? This is years ago. He’s getting so big now. His shoes are bigger than mine.