Lately I’ve been thinking about the radio. I don’t usually listen to the radio, but my (*coughs out the word*) boyfriend (I cough this not because I dislike the current state of affairs, but because it just sounds weird to say. Like I should at the same time be flipping my hair and chewing bubblegum with vigor.) listens to a particular radio station in his car, and it’s starting to grow on me.
Because what happens is, you hear the same songs all the time, and it’s like the soundtrack to your life, but it’s one you don’t choose and have ultimately no control over. Which I guess sounds kind of depressing, but that’s not how I mean it. It’s like inspiration that you don’t and actually can’t look for. Plus, you’re listening to the same thing everyone else is listening to. So not only is it the soundtrack to your current life, but also everyone else’s current life. Somehow that’s a comforting thought, although I don’t know why. Maybe I’m just tired of being the only one in the whole city who sees fog and starts singing, “See how the fog from the port in the bay / lays like snow at the foot of the roanoke / hear the frog going courting / til the day he croaks”. (Sorry, but once the weather gets cold, it’s like my brain is a CD player in which a Joanna Newsom mix is permanently stuck.)
Which reminds me of what the radio reminds me of: Weather. Or maybe the constellations. You can’t control it or when it changes, though it does. And even though it’s kind of in the background, it still somehow affects you and everybody who is currently experiencing it.
I used to listen to the radio. Not in the car– I had a little yellow portable radio thing, and I used to sit on the swings in our backyard listening to… I don’t even remember what station or type of music. (It could have been NPR, who knows.) (Actually, it was probably the classic rock station. My childhood musical taste pretty much consisted of whatever Dad was listening to.) And then some years later I had a teacher who would put the radio on whenever the class was doing mindless homework, and everyone loved this one pop station so much that even I listened to it at home. Now whenever I think of it, I remember cold, sunny days and open windows and late afternoons.
Deeeeeeeep, man. I know. I am having all these deep thoughts while I avoid eye contact with my manuscript that I should be editing right now, so that I can instead sit here blogging and eating leftover mei fun.
Last night on the way home from the Chinese place I ate all the fortune cookies. One of the fortunes was, “There is absolutely no substitute for a complete lack of preparation.” I read it aloud to Mom, and we tried to decipher its meaning. I jokingly (sort of…) said that it must be a bad omen for my trip to Kansas. Yep, I’m leaving for Kansas in a couple of days, to visit Eliza at her college Out West. It’ll be my first-ever all-alone plane trip (or trip of any sort). And even with her and Poor Bill’s helpful tips and advice, do I feel totally unprepared? Pretty much.
Mom: “I think it’s backwards. Wait. Read it again.”
Me: “It just sounds like a spam robot message. They have computers making this stuff up. You know they do. Nobody actually sits around writing these.”
But people actually do sit around reading them, apparently. What, I like to have something to read at meals! Why do you think they have stuff written all over cereal boxes, huh?
Although once, I did get a pretty interesting fortune that I still remember, and relate to. It said, “Life is like learning to play the violin in public.” I’m pretty sure some variation of that was already a saying before I found it in a fortune cookie, but whatever. I relate to it both on the intended simile level and through the fact that I actually do learn to play instruments in semi-public, since I always used to play the flute on our front stoop and I still prefer to practice my whistle outside. Amidst the ceaseless smacking of basketballs and the weird disembodied voice that calls from the school up the street, and the churchbells sounding and the trains in the distance, why shouldn’t I join in? I add to the character of the neighborhood. Or at least that’s what I tell myself as I chirp out yet another imperfect rendition of “Blackthorn Stick”.
So that’s kind of what’s currently going on… Kind of. An overview. Not really. Actually a side note. Actually I don’t know what’s going on.
But you get the gist. Soon to Kansas. Travel. Musical obsessions. An overactive brain. Also fall.
Also, I should probably go get ready for work.