Thursday, August 18, 2011

I lost it


I don't know what happened to it. To this day I wish I could at least remember who it was that borrowed it, or where I set it down, or why I didn't keep a more watchful eye over it.

It doesn't make sense that it should still upset me to have lost it. Its value is not high; today it would be outdated.  I'd love to have it, though, and I think of it from time to time.

I wish I knew what happened to the custom CD that E made for me in college.

Before such a thing as an iPod, before easily downloadable media, music was a smaller world. At least it felt that way to me. You had to know someone who "had" a song in order to even have a chance to have it yourself. Or you had to be rich, which I was not.  Since I couldn't just hop online and discover something new, my tastes were more closely influenced by those around me.

Growing up I liked what I knew, which was pretty much what my dad listened to: The Beach Boys, the soundtrack from The Big Chill, Madonna's Immaculate Collection, Glenn Miller's In the Mood (that was for cleaning the house on Saturdays).  I did not make brave choices on my own.  My first Audio CD was the soundtrack to Disney's Aladdin.

Dance offered exposure to a greater variety of music--Lawrence Welk, "Classical Gas", "Weird Science", showtunes to musicals I'd never heard of, Christian artists like Twila Paris, classical pieces like Vivaldi's Four Seasons. I was naive to the cool music of my age, for the most part. Whenever my classmates started to sing along with a tune at a school dance I'd just try to smile and wait it out, hoping nobody would notice that I didn't know a single Beastie Boys lyric. Good thing I could dance.  And God Bless Garth Brooks for being ubiquitous enough that I could at least pretend to be a part of the zeitgeist.

Sixteen year old E liked Metallica. He played me rock and Rammstein. Through his grin he would sing along to Weird Al tapes in his car. We'd listen to Monty Python sketches together over and over again; the fish license sketch never got old.

The year he spent at Cal Poly, I spent on the banks of Putah creek at UC Davis: crying, writing letters, and feeling sorry for myself that I couldn't afford to call him whenever I wanted. Of course I racked up about $1500 in long distance charges anyway.

That year E borrowed CDs from dorm-mates and burned me my first custom CD, the "mixtape" of the late 1990's.  It was gold.

I wish I remembered more than two tracks--it boasted a full playlist of songs that he said reminded him of me.

I remember "Brown Eyed Girl" and Tonic's "If You Could Only See."  Nothing more.

The cover was our picture from Winter Homecoming, taken the same night as the photo above. The same night I danced with him to a Celine Dion song.  The same night we had our first kiss.

I only had it for a few months, and then suddenly it was missing.  I sure wish I'd find it at the bottom of a box one day, but I know that's not realistic.  It still bugs me that I have no idea where it went.


  1. "And God Bless Garth Brooks for being ubiquitous enough that I could at least pretend to be a part of the zeitgeist."

    Love this sentence and love this post, although I'm sorry to hear your first "mixed tape" from E is MIA.

  2. Zeitgeist is an excellent word choice.