one of its centers.*
some is transient, in and out and back again.
for weeks or months or sometimes years at a time.
music, for me though, is more than mere presence.
music, also, is meaning.
of course part of it is the meaning of the music itself, but it’s also the meaning of the music in the narrative of my life.
a meaning that sometimes changes but can also be constant.
or sometimes both.
there is music i’ve been listening to for significant chunks of my life.
today i might listen to a song and think of a person, but three years from now that song very well could remind me of someone else, as strongly as i may feel today about someone.
there is music, too, that you discover with someone.
a lover, maybe.
and then you inevitably break-up and the music you once loved so much now sends you into psychological distress, turning you into a truly neurotic freak.+
but then there is music that i feel safe in
music that is particularly special to me.
music that always brings thoughts of a particular friend.
and i’m not just talking about people you hang out with.
i’m talking about the kind of friend you are completely honest with
that knows all of your soft spots and how truly neurotic and oversensitive you can be but loves you anyway and will tell you so.
this is mary and ‘the beatles’ for me.
i had always loved ‘the beatles.’
at least the albums i had : ‘sgt. pepper’s,’ ‘the white album,’ the anthologies.
and, of course, i knew all of their teenybopper stuff.
not my deal.
i’m a – shocker – drug-era ‘beatles’ chick.
we both worked at the writing center at city.
when we weren’t tutoring we were chatting.
and i don’t know when or how it came up
but soon we got on to music.
and ‘the beatles.’
it was mary who said i should listen to ‘abbey road’ from start to finish.
candles lit around my living room, the good headphones on, post-schmoke.
a truly spiritual experience.
i felt close to god in a way i hadn’t in quite some time.
we listened together, once, too.
in her living room
quiet and not saying anything.
george is her favorite.
she says he is beautiful and i love this about her.
i know i will never listen to ‘the beatles’ without thinking of her.
i do not worry that they will one day send me into psychological distress.
she’s one of those beautiful friends.
+ i speak from experience, here. i couldn’t listen to ‘the white stripes’ for two years after one break-up.