Haunted By Vinyl

Hello, my name is The Total Femme, and I am a pack rat. STUFF! I love it. But it’s not very conducive to sanity, and it’s definitely not very conducive to having your lover move in to the house you’ve lived in for over ten years. I mean, a person likes to feel that there’s a little bit of room for them, after all. So I’ve been decluttering as best I can, and I really got after it right before my Beau moved here.

However, I still had a god’s plenty of records. I mean, thousands. I’d moved them a hundred times, and currently, at the time of this event, they were mostly living in the garage. The garage my Beau hoped to convert to her shop. The hack saw sat uneasily across from shelves housing such gems as Die Goldenen Vampire (a Cramps-knockoff band from 1980s Germany) and a whole lot of Three Dog Night. One of them had to go, and I knew which. So I was going through my collection, trying to pare it down, figure out what I could live without. It was not a speedy process. It was kind of driving us all crazy.

One day, after I’d managed to get through all the records in the house (‘cause there were a bunch in the house, too), and my Beau asked me “So, are you done with them?” I joyfully answered in the affirmative. She looked relieved, and said she’d take the rest to the Salvation Army truck. We went our separate ways. A couple days later I sat up with a start and rushed out to the garage. Sure enough. All completely gone. AGGGHHHHH!!!! I DIDN’T MEAN THE ONES IN THE GARAGE!!!!

It was cathartic, really, how hard I sobbed. There was nothing we could do – it had just been a misunderstanding. I felt terrible, but I knew she hadn’t done it on purpose and I couldn’t really be mad at her. But it’s weird now – I had records in there from when I first started buying records, way back in high school. I had so many quirky, fun discs in there – gosh. Of course, I don’t remember every single one, but what happens every now and then is something will remind me of one of them, say, it will be the annual Frank Zappa-a-thon on the local college radio, and I’ll start thinking about how much I used to listen to “Joe’s Garage” and I’ll start humming “Why Does It Hurt When I Pee?” and then I’ll get a sinking feeling in my stomach, because “Joe’s Garage” is GONE.

Of course, “Joe’s Garage” isn’t really gone. I’m sure I could buy “Why Does It Hurt When I Pee?” quite easily on i-Tunes. It’s just I can’t hold that particular album in my hands anymore.

In a way, it’s nice, because I appreciate and listen more frequently to the albums I still have. And there are some good ones! But it’s just weird to have STUFF I’d held on to for so long just summarily dismissed, albeit by accident.

I suppose it’s a big Zen lesson. And actually, I’m more or less fine with that. It wasn’t like I listened to those albums all that much. Truthfully, most of them had meant a lot more to me back in the day. I just liked knowing they were around, and damn it, some of them were really COOL! Having STUFF from your past is always a mixed blessing, I think. Some things still have really good energy, and some things just drag you down and make you sad. For me, total pack rat, it can be really hard to understand which things are ok to hang on to and which things need to go. Plus, I’m a writer, so I’m always thinking, “Ok, I’m going to be able to use that, someday….”  The FLYlady (FLYlady.net) helps me with some of this, but I get the feeling she’s not a big reader or music listener (and she’s definitely not queer!), so sometimes I don’t agree with what she says about books and records. (I have a lot of books, too, surprise.)

Well, that’s really all I have to say about it. I will end with a verse from the song “Monsieur Robert” from the album of the same name by an artist whose name I forget. I bought this particular album in France in the 70s, and I was humming it the other day. Thanks for asking, but no, I don’t have it any more:

“Monsieur Robert, il habit sous la terre,
Il ne sort jamais, jamais a l’air;
Le soliel, la lune, ne l’interesse guerre;
Robert, le ver de terre.”

Published in: on January 30, 2009 at 6:09 PM  Comments (2)