There are parents who put their kids in front of the T.V., my parents, mainly my mom, put me in front of the radio. My love for and addiction to music has always existed, without fail, without choice. Though my dad, for all intents and purposes, is a musician, this hunger and appetite comes from the woman who loved him. It is the biggest gift anyone has ever given me.
My mom once said, “I know you’d go crazy without music. That’s why I always made sure you had stereos and radios.” And she did. From transistor walkmen to turntables to boom boxes to shelf units, she’d supply the needle for the vein in my soul that throbbed and begged for the sticky, thick, melodic dope. When I’d stumble out of my self-constructed fortress of musictude, I’d be in the midst of hers.
Cleaning, cooking, driving, showering, sitting. Music was her white noise. I’d see her moving about in the trails of her mundane activities with a look of warm, emotional, vacation. What was she thinking? Who did she miss? Where was she? How did she end up here? Very often, my dad would be simultaneously concocting his own cacophony in compulsed madness just ten feet below us. Though you could hear it, we didn’t. Not really.
Life had dragged her and I over, around and under the country, following his dream. Seedy bars, dirty hotels, Colorado ski resorts, Ohio beach houses. It’s rumored I slept in a mostaccioli box in the back of van. Kentucky commune, faceless roadside motels, lake cabin in Wisconsin, all interspersed with stays at gramma’s, music watched over our souls.
My dad’s dream never came true. Or so I assume. Everyone grew up. We started staying in one place and sleeping in our own bed every night. Music keeping it’s position, yet now more of a follower than a leader.
I once read that music activates the same brain activity as math. Math being a thing I excelled at without effort, I attributed science to my attraction, just like any other junkie looking for a justification. But that’s a lie. Music is my mother’s milk, my history. It is the home movie chronicling a love story. The story of two teens who fell in love, got pregnant, got married, chased after and ran from each other, leaving their blue eyed, towheaded baby in the care of what brought them together only to tear them apart.