The girl feverishly walking to the pulsating rhythm blasting through her headphones, that’s me. New York City is a grave wonderland and I use the 15,000 plus songs on my iPod to provide the soundtrack to my life. There are very few times I can be found outside without my headphones they are an extension of my ears at this point. As big as the city is, I get lost in the sounds of my music and with its 8.5 million residents it is rare that I see the same people throughout my travels on a daily basis. Of all the predictions on when the world will end, it’s more rare that one of those dates is an accurate summation then for someone with an eclectic, 20-hour, always on shuffle music regime to find someone enjoying the same song as me on any given moment.
A few days ago, the impossible happened. On a break from my library session, I decided to grab a snack from Wholefoods, just a typical study break. I moseyed my way into the market to get some sushi and pick up some bread so that I could make Strawberry French Toast in the morning. Entering the checkout line, that’s when I spotted him. Dirty chucks, almond eyes in a trance while he vibed to his music. Admiring him, I chuckled as I saw him in the groove because I wondered if that’s what I look like 85% of the day as I block out the world and escape to the musical abyss of my mind. Suddenly, JMSN’s ‘Do You Remember The Time’ started to play and I was not in the mood to listen to something so gloomy but let it play as a calm from the hypnotic pain of the track hit me.
The couple standing between me and the guy, also, engulfed in his music, suddenly exited the line so I moved closer becoming impatient and anxious to get back to the library so I could get through the tumultuous research for my term paper. As he pulled his iPhone out, I momentarily glanced over to see what he was listening to (as my musical curiosity always does to anyone in close proximity) and my mind hiccupped at the sight of him listening to the same JMSN song. As my conniption began, I wondered if I should say something, then the thought of me being a creep caused me to straighten up. I have not met many people who listen to JMSN, let alone for it to be this stranger whom I was just giggling at. After my swooning and a tweet asking the probability of such an occurrence for a music lover such as myself, I was told to spark a conversation. Baffled that he found a JMSN fan, we had a lengthy conversation about so many other underappreciated artists until we made it through the check-out line. He asked for my number and our musical acquaintance was off and running.
I know people would find it blasphemous for me to say this but I feel like God always shows himself to me through music. A few months ago, I abandoned music for a while because for the first time in my life the vulnerability of my headphones just added to the overwhelming fatigue of my emotional state. When I could stomach any form of music, I would have to listen to music in wholes, only albums at a time and many of which had no remnants of sadness. Now I’m back to thumbing through classics, critiquing the new sounds and delving into the underground and for the most part I am content with music again. Except for all those songs that remind me of the things I’m trying to forget this year. Now I have a music buddy to have snobby elitist music conversations that I’m sure will help me to get over the hump.
A day in my iPod can be very strange shuffling from Mozart’s “Requiem: Lacrimosa” to Ab-Soul’s “Terrorist Threats” to Fun.’s “Why Am I One?” to Janelle Monae’s “Smile” to Buju Banton’s “Everybody Knows” to Nirvana’s “Heart Shaped Box”. Match that with the fact my style is so outrageous I can look like I belong to a different subculture on any given day.
Here’s a glimpse into the last two hours of my iPod, gems on gems, enjoy.