Love In Unexpected Places

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“I can’t sleep without music.” My good friend Gracie giggles as she switches on the radio and switches off the light. An introduction of drums beat harshly through the speakers as the accompanying chords ascend into the explosive sound of rock music. Not exactly the ocean sounds I was expecting. I sit on the left side of the queen sized bed, covers pulled over my knees as she plops onto the right side. She then proceeds to fall into a deep, so-into-her-dreams-she’s-mumbling-and-attempting-to-run-from-who-knows-what kind of sleep. I, however, proceed to stare at the radio.
I now regret the decision to stay at her house while my mom is on a business trip. My seventh grade self is missing my mother and the comfort of my bed, not this foxhole caught in the cross fire of the fast paced melodies. Staring at the radio turned into hours of staring at the ceiling, still listening to the rock singer’s girly five octave range complain about his car breaking down, school dances, and whatever else those kinds of people talk about. I can feel each drum beat pound into my temples, my consciousness rising and falling with the notes. Just as I think I’m about to fall asleep, another guitar solo, big, dramatic, and slightly reminiscent of Queen grabs my attention and won’t let go. Somehow sleep hits me and my night of torture (I dare say the worst night of my seventh grade life) is behind me.
Dinner the next day fails to be sufficient. Not only did I not sleep, but Gracie’s idea of dinner—chips and salsa—hardly resembles a meal.
“I’m not that hungry.” She explains. Did it ever occur to you that I might be hungry? My host, gracious as can be expected from an eighth grader, fails to recognize my need. I keep quiet, not wanting to complain. Today, not only do I have the pleasure of being tired enough hallucinate; I could also be found trying to eat my hallucinations.
After dinner, Gracie sits down to instant message her friends, while I sit patiently nearby. When my patience runs thin, I go to her room and sit down on her bed, not knowing what else to do. Her room is fairly small and crowded, with the oversized bed facing the bulky dresser and the considerably large radio perched on top. From where I’m sitting on the end of the bed I can touch the radio, my legs swing and kick the dresser. The radio stares at me this time; it’s big round speakers like eyes. They plead with me to turn them on, so I do. The dreadful sounds of last night flood back and I wince. No, I’m not wincing, I’m bobbing my head to the familiar drum roll of the introduction. And then, to my surprise I start to sing along. He tells me the story of his car breaking down again and this time I nod my head sympathetically. I know, why did that have to happen to you?
The draining visit with Gracie comes to an end and I return to my music-free sleeping environment. However, the music follows me. I lie awake in bed that night unable to shake the image that the music paints. While I’m getting dressed I find myself singing the catchy “oh, oh, oh.” In class I look around and wonder if anyone else can hear the theatrical melodies that are so completely audible to me.
I finally beg my mother to buy me the album. As I sit in the center of the floor in my room I play the CD on repeat for hours. The lyrics aren’t merely words, but a saga. He portrays his emotions and thoughts vulnerably (when he isn’t talking about his car) through his (still girly) voice in a way I can identify with, as a seventh grader. Is this…? Can this be? I think I’m in love (with the words.) They know me. They explain how I feel better than I could myself.
To this day it’s still one of my favorite CDs. It sits in my car and every once in a while I’ll pop it in. I didn’t know it while I was lying awake in Gracie’s bed, irritated or when I was sitting in my room listening to it on repeat, but it wasn’t just some music or an album written by a band I had never heard of. It was the manifestation of a passion. It evoked a love of writing and words and how you can make people feel with them. How you can compare two completely different things and make it work. How people have been writing for centuries and they still haven’t said it all.





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write4life said...
Jun. 28, 2009 at 12:21 am
this was really great! that's how i feel about writing and music too! what cd was it?
 
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