Wednesday, May 13, 2009
sleeping with the music on
When I was a teenager, eons ago, I engaged in various acts of disobedience. Case in point is listening to the radio. We were not a family who listened to worldly music, but this was the era of the Beatles, the Who, the Stones, one hit wonders and all the rhythm and blues artists who could melt you soul. I was hooked. Quietly and privately hooked.
So I procured a very diminutive transistor radio and plugged it in between my mattress and the wall with the radio hidden under my pillow. (When a teenager starts making her bed, parents, look out!) As I lulled to sleep I listened to music at a volume that even the mouse living under my bed could not detect a sound trying not to be a sound.
The music from heaven would play until I heard a song I loved. The wait was delicious. Then, at the exact moment the song finished, in the breath between the last note and the next song's first beat, in the pause before a bad flavor could ruin the finish of a whole meal, I flicked the power off. And the song would play over and over in my head and my soul smiled or danced or languished in love, depending on the emotion evoked.
Last night I came home late (seems to be a nightly ritual in this graduation season) and went directly and wearily to bed. Do you know the kind of tired that is overwhelming but your brain, on alert, still thinks you are on your bicycle racing on a tightwire strung over a six lane bridge?
So I did something instinctual. I reached over and flicked on the radio. World Cafe was on WUKY and the music was funky and fun. I listened and waited. The moments were delicious. Then Leonard Cohen came on and sang, "I'm Your Man." In the breath between the last note and the next song's first beat, I flicked it off.
And fell asleep. Smiling.