Today was to be the day where I went 24 hours without music. I'd forgotten, of course, until my roommate reminded me while I was snatching my iPod from the kitchen counter. "Isn't today the day you can't listen to music?" she asked. "GRrbjadbljskj" I mumbled, still forty minutes from my first cup of coffee.
It started well enough: I was on one of those buses that resembles an Indian subway more than a San Franciscan commuter bus (sadly though: no monkeys) and I couldn't hear any Eminem overflowing out the earphones of some pre-pubescent quasi-hard-ass. Sure I was stepping on some large gentleman's foot while enduring the surprisingly pointy elbow of a rotund grandma, but the bus was to be one of the great no-music-for-a-day challenges. I can regulate the atmosphere of my house and my office is a soulless wasteland, so all I had to do was travel between those two places in relative silence and success would be mine. Or, so I thought.
Our rolling sardine mobile stopped on 3rd street and I walked down the alley that takes me toward my office, trying to enjoy the early morning chill and vague aroma of urine. "Coffee," said my brain. "Yes, brain," said my mouth. "We're almost there." And, unthinkingly, I walked into the cafe where I usually start my morning and---John Mellencamp. Of all people. And it wasn't even Jack & Diane. No, it was one of those other "Look, I'm really a lot like Springsteen" "songs" that our Mr. Mellencamp foists upon the unsuspecting radio universe. That is, when he's not scoring flabbergastingly offensive Chevy commercials. Badness abounded.
So, attempt number one lasted about an hour until unbridled Mellencamp flavored failure but I learned a lesson I thought I'd realized, namely: you can't go shopping and avoid music. Attempt two will involve a sack lunch and the soil-flavored work-coffee.
The nice part was I forsaw the probable lack of success and brought my iPod anyhow. Either that or I was too groggy to fully comprehend what my roomie was saying. Serendipitous nonetheless. I say this because, when you get denied by Corporate Springsteen, it's best to wash the taste out of your earholes as fast as humanly possible. I put on that "Pillar of Salt" song by The Thermals (this week's front runner for "Best Song in the Universe"---sorry Beethoven's Ninth) and everything was alright all over again.