The heel of my hand accidentally hits the wall of the shower and a resonant bass note sounds. I strike the wall of the shower again, start to pound out a drum beat with my knuckles and the fat part of my fist. Long-dormant synapses fire, the beat of an old song rises in my head. I can’t remember the name, but I think I know the band.
Toweling off, I reach for the phone and punch up YouTube. I find the song, and sure enough, it’s that band. It still feels good, the song, but I’m different, older, should be wiser but maybe not so much. I recognize the rage, the confusion, most of all the pain, but I’m standing apart from it now. It’s raw, the song, it has energy. It’s not who I am anymore. My connection now is less with the song than the memory of it, the connection that once meant a lot. There’s a part of me in the song, or part of it in me. Or maybe a past me, like an old, faded photo that makes you smile, or seethe.
This must be what it felt like, I think, for the generation before mine when they listened to their oldies on their oldies stations, looking around at a changed world while their soundtrack remained unchanged. Those stations don’t play oldies anymore, unless 80s pop is the new oldies. That’s what the one in my town plays, where I grew up.
The town where I grew up has changed quite a bit in some ways, and in others not so much. Kind of like me in that respect, and there must be some wisdom somewhere in this, but I can’t find it fiddling with a phone, falling down rabbit holes and still dripping, not wanting to get dressed or do whatever I’m supposed to do next.
If you see a ‘this video is not available’ message for the first link, don’t believe that lie. Click the YouTube logo to play it on YouTube. The sound and image quality are amazing considering it’s 27 year old footage of an as-yet-unknown band.