Thursday, September 9, 2010

Musical Windows

I work in a very small office at the back of the auto parts store. Trish and I are in the front office. Larry, the owner, has the one adjoining. I was nervous at first about sharing such a small work environment but it doesn't bother me. I like Trish. We laugh and discuss last night's America's Got Talent (Way to go Michael Grimm!) and listen to music. We're in a metal building so we can't get regular radio so Trish has the satellite radio set up on her computer. She pretty much keeps it on classic rock. She's moved on from her Pink Floyd phase and we get a steady stream of everything from Creedence to Janis. I like it. Those aren't the kinds of songs I purchase, but they're the kind I listen to if I'm forced to listen to actual radio. I will typically choose classic rock over the dated pop, Southern gospel, or contemporary country that rock the airwaves down here.

What is funny, as I sit here at my desk, is that Larry has got the satellite radio going in his office too. He keeps it on the golden oldies station. At one point today I was hearing Elton John's "Benny and the Jets," with Jimmy Soul's "If You Wanna Be Happy" (for the rest of your life, don't make a pretty woman your wife...) in the background. There's one song that they play over and over and the chorus is so loud and I had never heard it before I started working here but now every time it comes on I turn around to Trish to find her using her finger to pantomime shooting herself in the head. It is pretty bad.

I went through an oldies phase when I was little, so I know a lot of the songs I hear all day and I like classic rock, so neither of the stations bother me. I like the idea that the three of us are sitting here in the same place, with our own soundtracks. Larry who now likes to go to Green Egg conventions, who has worked in auto parts stores from the time he started working, who still dresses like he might have been the type to grease his hair back and roll a pack of cigarettes in his white shirt sleeve, who might have skipped school but would never have skipped work. Trish, who had boyfriends in biker gangs, who had to use pliers to zip up her jeans, who once had a beer with one of the guys from ZZ Top and kind of insulted him, who still likes a cold beer and a night out at the races. My computer doesn't have speakers, but I'd probably be listening to something by Massive Attack, with some Gillian Welch on the side. I wonder what that says about me, what people might imagine of my past based on my music? For now though, I like the combination of the oldies and the old-but-not-so-oldies and the little window it gives me into the former lives of my coworkers.

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