Thursday, February 4, 2010

Exclamtion Points and Mix Tapes

"What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?"

Probably the greatest line to ever start a movie.

The poignancy of music, of feeling. The art of the mix tape, gone but not forgotten. Those raw emotions that flow when you hear a certain melody, even in the first bars of a song you know are about to send you reeling into fits of rage or passion or sadness or longing. You listen with every fiber in your being. You drive to them, singing at the top of your lungs. You cry to them, softly weeping or deeply wailing hardly able to catch your breath. They remind of mostly of people, good, bad, ugly or indifferent.

It's the little things in life they say. Those momentous little things that in retrospect turn monumental in memory. A mix tape. A CD. Carefully plotted and extricated. Designed for you and you alone. The last I got one, maybe late 90's. Burned distinctly to CD at the beginning of the technology. But it was for me. A mix of songs calculated by someone specific to capture my essence to them. Like a decadent perfume created for one wearer alone, it was mine.

Those songs weren't written by artists with me in mind, no. They had never met me. I hadn't broken their hearts or inspired them, but their words, their muse had given the intender muse enough to floetically put together a thought. Something I still listen to now. Though scratched and skipping slightly, I still listen.

It's not hand holding or sleeping together than constitutes a relationship. It's not the hope that something is happening or the eventual and natural evolution of things. Sure that is all part of the grander scheme of things, but it's moments and to each those things are something different. Monumental? Maybe. Grandiose? Hardly.

There's no need at 30 for a whole lot of pomp and circumstance. No need to shout things from rooftops like a giddy child. When you've had strings of failure, you tend to not want to put carts before horses until you know things for sure yourself.

It's not a battle to see who hurts who more. Or when things don't go how you want to walk away in an instant before they even begin. To be a coward. It's a chance, a crapshoot, a dance. And a dance is between two people. Sometimes hurried and quickstepped sure, sometimes sensual and sometimes soft and slow, drawing each other closer with each and every movement. But it’s all set to music.

It's old fashioned reminders of femininity. Of flowers and compliments. Of poetry and mix tapes. Of other's words if you can't find your own. It's not text messages and phone calls. It's tangible. It's letters and cards and things you can hold onto forever. Things you can store not only in memory, but in carefully laden boxes to pull out and mull over when times are tough. It's looking back at happiness in your hand, as well as your heart. It's listening to something personal and knowing it was for you, even once upon a time.

Exclamation points and mix tapes. It's really not that hard.


  1. Excellent post. I have the "I'm so fabulous I piss glitter" gif I'd have sent you for this if I'd known!!!

  2. I love this.
    So well said.
    And I agree. I have a tape my ex-husband made me when we were dating. I don't play it, I just have it. And keep it with memories of better days.
    Thanks for the post!

  3. I sometimes laugh at my boyfriend for the things he keeps in a box from me...but I do understand that those things will always mean something...notes I've left him when he was working, cards I've given him, etc.

    Sadly, I lack much of a sentimental bone in I'll save certain things but most I just disregard after the moment is past...


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