And so came the day when my defunct car charger forced me to rediscover radio and shattered any of my straggling illusions of youth.
Recently my one and only car charger (formerly known as the 'cigarette lighter') decided to go on strike, effectively leaving me with a much narrower scope of music options. Generally I plug in my iPhone to a radio adapter that allows me to play my own music through my radio. As a result of advancing technology, I have three CD's in my car: a 'Best of Led Zeppelin' CD that only spins in the player when it damn well feels like it (uh, like every twentieth time...otherwise to my great fury it doesn't spin at all), a comedy CD that I have listened to more times than I care to admit and the third is scratched beyond repair. As a person completely incapable of sitting with my own silences, I clicked on over to the radio.
"...you got to bet on yourself now staaaar, cause that's your best bet...."
"...Paint myself in blue and red and black and gray. All of the beautiful colors are very very meaningful, Gray is my favorite color, I felt so symbolic yesterday, if I knew Picasso, I would buy myself a gray guitar and play.......Mister Jones and me...!!"
Yessssss! Thankfully my antenna picked up my old standard Radio 104.1, a bastion of amazing music in an often dreck-y sea of mainstream pop and unintelligible rap. I cheerfully sang at the top of my lungs. Lyrics that still rattled around in my head and will probably take up precious brainspace until the day I die were actually being put to proper use! Synapses fired and neurons connected, my brain a flurry of activity!
"....and every time I scratch my nails down someone else's back I hope you feel it...well can you feel it! Well, I'm here to remind you of the mess you left when you went away....."
And then it happened. My crazy neurons demanded that a sense memory be paired with that particular lyric. All of a sudden, a swimming image was rapidly uploaded to my minds eye. Large, nearly empty 2 liter bottle of Mountain Dew in my hand. My friend bouncing over to the chunky black boom box at my shoulder. A flash of MTV News from a distant sleepover of the past....oh god Kurt Loder was hideous even then....the vague recollection that the year was 1995 and Alanis was up for 'video of the year'.
1995?! Hold up. I turned 13 years old in 1995. I'm 27 now. I have known the words to that song for more than half of the time I have spent on this earth.
Kids that were born in 1995 have never seen a kick-ass, mind-blowing music video on MTV (I know, because I check and the caliber has plummetted my friends. Gone are the days of puppets and clay-mation.) Sadly, these kids have never known the joys of a cigarette lighter in a car or even a life without facebook. I'm sure they have no idea who Alanis Morrisette even IS!!! OMG, they probably don't even know who Kurt Cobain is!
Realization - I. Am. Officially. Old.
After a small pity party in my car, I slowly came to terms with my newfound knowledge. I told myself that with age comes discovery of great music. A refinement of what one will grow to embrace and invite in as a part of one's life and soul. When I was 13 I was blissfully ignorant to the greatness of Nina Simone, the Ramones, Phish and David Bowie, among others.
It heartnens me to think that there is infintely more music to discover and to be made. Maybe I'm 'old', but I am certainly not deaf. Far from foiled by the situation with my dead car charger it has encouraged me to unearth my old CD collection and stock my car with old favorites. Reliving my youth is almost more fun the second time around.
Because now I know all the lyrics.