Central to my narrative, though not obvious, is music. I almost forgot about it myself, because it is as wired into my world as words.

My earliest memories of music are of the stand up piano my dad had in the den when I was 3 or 4. One is sitting on his lap while he played and trying to play myself. Another is my dad sitting on the bench while he and my mom argued, as they called me back and forth to them while they argued. I always held a grudge against my parent’s divorce because I thought had they stayed together I would have learned to play the piano. At least that’s what I said in my college entry essay; I got into all four schools!

Later I stole cassette tapes of country music from my uncle, like the white Earnest Tube cassette with blue lettering that I played enough that the print wore off. Among many memories, are hymns I sang in church, like Blessed Assurance. Hymns still are part of what I listen to often; they have a sound and sentiment that I can’t escape.

Aimless drives often included a stop at Sound Warehouse where I’d hunt for music to keep my drive going. There was always a box of tapes on my front seat.

All that music was the soundtrack my late teenage years and early twenties on long drives in my dad’s pickup or Camaro toward the horizon and when my friend Kirk and I would pick up a bottle of vodka at the drive through liquor store, mix it with cranberry juice, drinking it straight when the juice was gone.

I always wonder whether I love the lyrics because I’ve lived them, or did I live them because I loved the lyrics?

Next entry, Running