I found myself this morning in a scenario I couldn’t have typically pictured myself in, but faced it anyhow:
I was storming – annoyed, livid, call it what you will – towards the office. Nearly three full weeks into the semester, I’ve admittedly grown more than a bit frustrated with small technical issues that keep piling up – no fault of any one party, but constantly there and things haven’t really smoothed out yet. Given the number that I was facing this morning, I was feeling myself start to slip from my traditionally calm mood.
This was compounded this morning by an “ongoing police investigation” that had screwed up service on roughly five subway lines, including mine. This means my usual office walk (four blocks crosstown, one block up) was considerably longer (four blocks crosstown, nine blocks up).
This was also compounded by the fact that I was wearing a suit. Sure, it was for a good reason, but it’s also still damn hot in NYC, and having to walk that far in a constricting suit is far from pleasant.
In total, these three disjoint items had formed a hell of downer. But as always, I found myself pulling myself back together through music. I drowned myself in a sea of unlike sounds: Kanye West transitioned into Clap Your Hands Say Yeah over to Japanese teenagers shouting hip hop onto Bloodhound Gang.
Sometimes, I worry about how much power music holds over me. I am running out of space on a 40 GB iPod, which I didn’t think was possible all those years ago when I started collecting. I fixate on songs, associating them with people, places, times in my life, or moods. I realize I’m not alone in this, that it’s a shared behavior the whole world around; that we all make these connections between the things we do and the things surrounding us when we do them, or the things that remind us of them.
Anyhow – here’s my song for right now. Lots of things I needed to hear said.
Had we never come across the vastness of pavement,
The barrenness of waves and the grayness of the sea;
Never lost, or ne’er been misguided,
We’d have ne’er reached seas so shining –
Or come from out of a hansom in Camden to a bar in the basement,
While all the while it rained;
Or come around to the friendliest of faces,
Handsomest in ugly places –
Or come from out of the tunnels we dig in
To see that tunneling’s not living
And working doesn’t work;
Or come to find that loving is labor,
Labor’s life and life’s forever –
Or come to see that keeping’s not giving,
You get what you’ve given,
You get what you deserve;
And in the midst of all of the action,
Maybe only there found satisfaction…
Chasing sea-foam dreams around another dirty old town;
Parallel run streams toward the gray ocean from the green ground;
“Oed’ und leer, das meer,” but look beneath the glassy surface –
All the songs you hear: down there they have a purpose.
All in all, we cannot stop singing,
We cannot start sinking –
We swim until it ends.
They may kill, and we may be parted
But we will ne’er be broken-hearted.