City slickers walk more than their suburban counterparts. Sure there are trains and busses and taxis galore, but the to and fro is largely Nikey-based and often it’s simply easier to forego mechanized transport all together and just hoof it around town.
I occasionally take these opportunities to soak up the sounds of the city, but more often than not, I’m disconnected, bouncing about to the various rhythmic wonders my IPod offers. It’s interesting to view the world as if it was set to music, and sometimes your choice of song determines what you see and how you see it.
Friends know that (Billy Joel obsession aside) my musical tastes are as scattered as a Tourette-afflicted Schizophrenic’s poetry readings. I’ll smash the heavy bag in time with DMX’s rants, croon along with Harry Connick while stirring spaghetti sauce, and then clean the garage while Linkin Park belts out some auditory motivation. Rock, rap, and R&B. Country, classical and cool jazz. You’ll find them all on my play list, awkwardly slam dancing about in ways that would make any radio DJ cringe. Ah the shuffle-feature, how it laughs in the face of format.
But that’s inside. My organized existence can handle the dissonance. Outside, our chaotic world screams for more consideration, a specialized, thoughtful, committed selection. And so my walks are deliberate, my accompaniment thematic. One artist, one work – that’s the rule.
Of course in this era of digital singles the art of the album is sliding quickly into obscurity. (Yes I’m album old, though not quite 8-track antiquated.) Regardless, my incessant ambling affords an ideal opportunity to breathe life into what may be destined for obliteration.
And so, as I walk I drink in the places, the faces, and all the spaces in between the where I was and the where I’m going. Today Sara Bareilles was my guide. They day before it was Alanis. It’s been a week of thoughtful, quirky women, the kind I hope to meet someday if only I’d unplug and actually risk a conversation.
Funny how I listen so fully when they are not around…not really real. I remember details, not just of what they said, but where I was and what I was doing when they said it – a feat I could never muster in the context of an actual relationship.
Just yesterday I was waiting for the #14 bus in front of Lucky Plaza, newly purchased yoga block in hand when I heard that an old man turned 98, won the lottery and promptly died the next day. For some reason the song got stuck in the moment and now I’ll forever equate that line with that location. I’ll be in New York next June, hear it, and instantly I’ll be in Orchard.
Sad really that I can’t recall even the most important events without such musical cues. The last words of my last lover…. gone. I recall only the click of the door and the silence that followed.
Isn’t it Ironic. Don’t you think? Maybe we needed a soundtrack. Maybe we needed a song.