Thursday, March 14, 2013

Subcutaneous Mixtape

Everyone goes on and on about the downright spooky property that music has to recall an event years later at the mere opening notes of a song you never would have chosen as a soundtrack in the first place.

"...She wore blue velvet. Bluer than velvet was the night..."

There is a conversation in music when shared.  It is one thing to sit at home on a mountain of pillows, dad's giant headphones on my little eight year old melon, enjoying some Alan Parsons Project from my dad’s cassette collection he kept in a green plastic Happy Meal box (back when McD’s had class).

It’s entirely something else to do the exact same thing but next to another human being with their own Happy Meal box of cassettes.

Building memories to a soundtrack is a gradual process.  Unfurling like petals.  Spreading, joining and reforming like mercury.  Subtle flavors in a slow sauce.  Lightning flashes.  Genuine smiles and connectivity.  Recognition of Self in the Other.  Excitement.  Trying not to be an interrupting cow to play the song their song just reminded you of.

I have this problem of jumping the gun.  I am naturally impatient and I want results yesterday.  Being forced to take part in a gradual process is the best thing that can happen to me.  The Universe has been trying to teach me patience for a long time.  I’m learning, I promise, but I’m hard-headed and think I’m smarter than everyone else.
When I find myself in situations where good things come to those who wait and there ain't a damn thing I can do to hurry it up, I tend to relax.  Worry less.  Do the best I can knowing there is nothing else I can do.  I observe more.  I smell the roses.  I absorb and reflect more accurately.  I can mull and marinate and make wiser choices (usually).

It prevents me from leaping off the cliff.  For a girl who craves security, this is a conundrum.  To see it on paper, it looks like the security I so want to create makes me a stick-in-the-mud, stuffy, no-fun-havin’ poster child for the insurance and risk management industry.  I assure you I am wild, spontaneous, and a ton of fun.  I'll whip my dick out anywhere.  But I want my bills paid, something in the bank, a safe place to live, a reliable car, etc.  I don’t want to owe anyone anything and I don’t want live one disaster away from sleeping at the City Rescue Mission.  

That kind of security.

However, as Vulcan as I am, I tend to make decisions using my stupid heart.  Give money I don’t have to people who need it.  Say something too intense too early on in a relationship.  Cry when I’m angrily standing up for myself.  Give him one more chance….again. 

As a human, I like that I have access to all these beautiful flavors of emotion.  I am an artist simply because I cannot keep them inside myself.  There is such a broad spectrum with delicately nuanced differences between states of being.  I want to taste them all.  I want to intimately immerse myself in each one like a lover.  As much as possible, I want to be an active participant in my human-y existence and taste the whole heart-breaking, fragile, horrible, sublime rainbow.

So a musical conversation takes place with the lightning and excitement and all that.  It happens slowly and there is nothing I can do but enjoy it.  Over-analyzing everything with my brain but blowing my wad in the sloppy feely matters of the human condition.  The music begins to narrate the ageless dichotomy between the head and the heart that has been heralded since time immemorial by creatives of every stripe.  We are part of a glorious history.

Watching the music develop is a way to see into his thoughts. To find out what makes his blood boil.  What makes him weep.  What sounds he needs to hear while he’s working.  What lyrics can perfectly describe his feelings right now.

The Central Scrutinizer hears all.
And like a mouth-breathing peeping Tom skulking on various internet outlets, I've been slowly stroking myself to this usually unavailable information.  It is DELICIOUS.

1. situated or lying under the skin, as tissue.
2. performed or introduced under the skin, as an injection by a syringe.

Yes, that’s the perfect place to leave your mixtape.