Soundtrack of My Affection

My friend Jessica and I were discussing music this past
weekend while enjoying our aperitif of champagne and waiting on our
table at dinner, and she asserted that people fall into one of two
camps: either you’re a music person or you’re not. Sure, most people
can appreciate music, and while the majority of folks may have a
favorite singer or group, that doesn’t inherently make them a music
person. No, a true music person is someone who would breathe in the
melody if they could, spends time analyzing the lyrics or trying to
recreate the riffs. Music people hit "shift-refresh" on Pollstar more
than they do on their Gmail, and find themselves planning
their vacations around tour dates. Music people, *I* would assert, find
that their entire existence, that most of their experiences or
memories, are woven around a certain song or band, and the very mention
or hearing of it brings them right back to the time and place where it
once meant everything. Scientists have proven that scents evoke
reminiscent memories; I’d assert that music attributions are even more
poignant and powerful.

To which I say, "Thank you, Mike Wiedwald." The object of my sophomore
year affection (even more so than Ryan Jones, the brown-haired one, not
the blonde), he was a tall, skinny senior who had recently broken up
with his girlfriend and served as our gym aide, a popular option for
those shortly heading off to college and bored with yet another study
hall. Instead of spending fourth period awaiting the emergence of the
cafeteria chocolate chip cookies, these guys chose to referee our
volleyball games while simultaneously checking out us girls in our
gym clothes. Amongst a few bruised knees and broken nails, I was
smitten. And as could be my mantra for the time, neither was I very
subtle about it. He, as well as all his friends, resolutely knew of my
infatuation, if not only for the rides home for which I pathetically
begged. Truly, I’m still a bit mortified twelve years later. But alas,
whether he thought I was good fun or just didn’t have the heart to stop
my naïve longings, he not as much promoted them as he did put up with
them. And for that, I was flying high as I got free rides home in his
blue Firebird and was introduced to my first brush with some classic
rock.<!–
D(["mb","
\n
\nMix CD\’s were all the rage in the early 90\’s – the gift of one far more significant than the content it contained, yet for a music lover like me, I found myself obsessing over the song choices and even the order of the songs. Did "Fool in the Rain" preceding Journey\’s "Lights" mean something? Did he mean it when he included Led Zeppelin\’s "All of my Love"? And after a few rides home in that blue Firebird, I decided it was due time to request a mix CD from my crush, if only so I could fall asleep to it every night on my Walkman, in my eyes a testament to his fledgling affection towards me. And, consistent with his tolerance towards my immature posturings, he acquiesced.
\n
\nThe yellow Maxell 60-minute tape with his masculine scribble detailing his song choices was pure perfection. I played it constantly, obsessed with the music, the order, but most importantly the effort it took for him to create this masterpiece – ALL FOR ME. I wanted to live the songs here, make them my own, have them serve as the soundtrack of my very being. They were *that important.*
\n
\nIt was probably a year later, after he went to college and I had transferred my affections to yet another unattainable lad (this time, a FOOTBALL PLAYER!!) that I realized the true extent of my foolishness. I was riding in the car with a friend, and I found myself marveling at the familiar tunes – and identical order – coming out of her tape player. I was listening to the soundtrack of my sophomore affection, coming out of HER CAR. Incredulous, I asked her where she got her tape, and I sat shellshocked as she explained that her friend – and Mike\’s ex – had made her a copy of a tape her then-boyfriend had made for her some years back. I was crushed – though I was long over my infatuation, the very ignominy I felt by being given a duplicate mix tape was worse than even the amorous rejection. The much-adored soundtrack of my adoration was nothing of the sort – moreover, it was merely a copy of his feelings for SOMEONE ELSE. I was a fool.”,1]
);
//–>

Mix tapes were all the rage in the early 90’s – the gift of one far more
significant than the content it contained, yet for a music lover like
me, I found myself obsessing over the song choices and even the order
of the songs. Did "Fool in the Rain" preceding Journey’s "Lights" mean
something? Did he mean it when he included Led Zeppelin’s "All of my
Love"? And after a few rides home in that blue Firebird, I decided it
was due time to request a mix tape from my crush, if only so I could fall
asleep to it every night on my Walkman, in my eyes a testament to his
fledgling affection towards me. And, consistent with his tolerance
towards my immature posturings, he acquiesced.

The yellow Maxell 60-minute tape with his masculine scribble detailing
his song choices was pure perfection. I played it constantly, obsessed
with the music, the order, but most importantly the effort it took for
him to create this masterpiece – ALL FOR ME. I wanted to live the songs
here, make them my own, have them serve as the soundtrack of my very
being. They were that important.

It was probably a year later, after he went to college and I had
transferred my affections to yet another unattainable lad (this time, a
FOOTBALL PLAYER!!) that I realized the true extent of my foolishness. I
was riding in the car with a friend, and I found myself marveling at
the familiar tunes – and identical order – coming out of her tape
player. I was listening to the soundtrack of my sophomore affection,
coming out of HER CAR. Incredulous, I asked her where she got her tape,
and I sat shell shocked as she explained that her friend – and Mike’s ex
– had made her a copy of a tape her then-boyfriend had made for her
some years back. I was crushed – though I was long over my infatuation,
the very ignominy I felt by being given a duplicate mix tape was worse
than even the amorous rejection. The much-adored soundtrack of my
adoration was nothing of the sort – moreover, it was merely a copy of
his feelings for SOMEONE ELSE. I was a fool.<!–
D(["mb","
\n
\nIt\’s been nearly thirteen years, and I have no idea what happened to Mike. I think I heard some years back he hd gotten married, and am guessing if he follows the trend of most others in that year, he\’s probably raising and loving his family without fail. I doubt he remembers me – and that\’s fine, he was the first glimpse I had of my foolish naivete in love, and for that it\’s enough. But depite the outcome, despite the unauthentic mix tape and its unintended recipient, at least in terms of the effort or feelings behind it, I still want to breathe in every chord of "All of my Love" whenever I hear it, not so much as a memory of my youthful affections as it is a testament to how far I\’ve come, how much has changed since the time when all it took to make me fly was a ride in a blue Firebird.
\n
\n\n

\n\n\n”,0]
);
D([“ce”]);
//–>

It’s been nearly thirteen years, and I have no idea what happened to
Mike. I think I heard some years back he he’d gotten married, and am
guessing if he follows the trend of most others in that year, he’s
probably raising and loving his family without fail. I doubt he
remembers me – and that’s fine, he was the first glimpse I had of my
foolish naivete in love, and for that it’s enough. But despite the
outcome, despite the unauthentic mix tape and its unintended recipient,
at least in terms of the effort or feelings behind it, I still want to
breathe in every chord of "All of my Love" whenever I hear it, not so
much as a memory of my youthful affections as it is a testament to how
far I’ve come, how much has changed since the time when all it took to
make me fly was a ride in a blue Firebird.

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