I had an ipod once. Well, I still have it, but it done got broken. It sat, neglected and forgotten at the bottom of my bag for ages, and ended up getting bits of biscuit crumbs (mine, not my children’s. I shall not try to misplace blame here. Not this time) in the aux-jack ting. You know, where your headphones go. So, it will charge, and I ASSUME it is playing music, but I can’t hear it. I love that ipod, it’s got loads of drum and bass on it, and old skool prodigy, and it’s purple. I’m tearing up here, I cannot speak of it anymore. Goodbye, sweet prince.
At the same time, I spend a lot of time in Satan’s Moving Tin Cans. That’s the London Underground, by the way. If you want an excercise in witnessing the sheer cunt-y ness of the general public, then get yourself on the tube. Last week, on a packed train on the Picadilly Line, a bloke offered me his seat, with the caveat “You’ll have to sit on my lap though, darling”. No ta, jog on, you dirty article. (He didn’t even have a beard. Cannot abide a man who hasn’t a beard).
So, what have we learnt thus far? I spend a lot of time on the tube and I don’t have an ipod. Or a generic MP3 Player. Or even a Discman. OR even, EVEN, a walkman. Do you remember those? I do. Just. Sometimes I go out with my sister in her car, the Money Drain, and we listen to what I believe the young ‘uns call bashment. Have you heard it? It’s a larf and make no mistake. Silence when you’re travelling is a pile of pants, and I hate it. Money is too tight to mention at present (spot the Simply Red reference. Did that ‘cos I’m really hip and cool and down wid da kids) so I can’t really extend to a new ipod JUST yet. Also my ancient laptop can’t handle itunes, it balks at the idea much in the same way Big did whenever Carrie suggested any comitment. Bastard. Anyway, when I’m at home, I spend loads of time on youtube, listening to stuff I’d thought I’d forgotten about. Songs from bands that I loved as a teenager: System Of A Down, The Pixies, Rage Against The Machine. People I remember my Mum listening to when I was a child: Louden Wainwright, ABC, The Pet Shop Boys. I listen to stuff no one would expect me to like (yesterday evening I was up until 2:30am, chatting online with a friend, and listening to Sophie Ellis Bextor. And then Chase&Status. Do NOT knocked it till you’ve tried it). I can’t sing, or play an instrument. I can barely dance. But music makes everything better, without question. Lyrics jump out at me and say ‘Listen up, and do what we’re telling you to do. Listen hard, and listen good’ . Magic FM or Absolute 90s used to be one of the only things that would prise me out of bed, and downstairs, flinging bread into toasters for small children. 5pm, making their tea, listening to XFM, or streaming Crystal Castles from the home network (techy tings that I don’t understand, but it worked!)
Loads of songs, albums, what have you take me right back. My all time favourite song is Babies, by Pulp. Stop for a second to look it up and have a listen. You. Are. WELCOME. A friend had it on CD when I was 15 “Listen to this, you’ll love it” they said, we sat in her living room, on her parent’s green leather couch, with the carpet swirling about in no particular pattern beneath our be-school shoed feet. My hair was long enough for me to sit on, almost. We were doing our Sociology homework, both with ink from our cartridge pens all over our hands. I listened to it all evening on repeat. Hole’s ‘Celebrity Skin’ reminds me of when I was 17, in my first few weeks of my A-Levels. God, I was so chuffed I got to wear my own clothes. What a luxury, especially when you’ve spent five looooong years in a kilt. Always a kilt. Why all the kilts? Anything by Coheed and Cambria reminds me of Waterloo station, the train that stopped in Portsmouth and Southsea and passed by Haslemere on the way. Then there are others, Panic At The Disco- I Write Sins Not Tragedies; share with the class if you remember this bizarre offering. These cringey articles remind me of being 20, out in Camden with my friends Caz and Freya, looking an absolute fool with magenta hair and loving every second of it. Anything by Radiohead, but especially Fake Plastic Trees, reminds me of that insane period just after my first child was born, bewildered, knackered, in awe. Put these songs on and there I am; 15, 17, 19, 20, 24. Again.
Things are very tough at the moment, for reasons I can’t (or won’t) get into. I have some very dark, low moments. Times when all I want to do is lie in bed, stare at my pillows, and never get up again. It’s all too heavy on my shoulders, thoughts too much to handle, so much to think about and so much to get sorted. It’s such a massive, cheesy cliche, but when things do get too much, I whack on a bit of what I love, and it helps get me out of my funk. Gets me out of bed. Another song. Into the shower. Another song. Clothes, and write today’s to-do list. Another song. Song by song, I plan my day and get through the long hours. I’m barely sleeping at the moment, the rusty wheels in my head dragging themselves around and around, the same thing worrying me night after night. It’s at times like this, at 2am in the morning when I’ve been trying to get to sleep since 10:30pm the previous night, that I admit defeat, turn on the lights, and get out my laptop. I have slept four hours in the past 24 hours, but I bet this happens tonight. If you’re up, with the same anxiety beating you about the head that I have, then give this a listen and we’ll have a virtual dance together. Just you and me. Yes sir, I can boogie, if you play the right song.