January 26, 2012

Music in my ears

I’d noticed that my kids listen to music when they run at the gym, and I kept asking them about it, so Boy in Black found an iPod on ebay and bought it for me. “You can fill it with Joni Mitchell and the Mountain Goats,” my daughter said. I am fairly predictable in my musical tastes.

It has taken me a while to get used to the iPod. Whenever a new song begins, I keep expecting the people around me to comment, or start dancing, or sing along. But instead, they just continue along their way, totally ignoring the music, and that’s when I realize that they can’t hear what’s blaring into my ears.

The result is that I feel like I’m watching a movie. I can see people — a man sitting on the floor to catch his breath, two women talking over by the mats, a teenager lifting some dumbbells, a man and a child walking up the stairs — but I’m totally removed from the scene, with just music rushing through my head.

I find myself doing the voice-over narration in my head, making up stories for the characters. I can usually find someone whose body language and facial expressions match whatever song is playing.

That woman in purple is running fast to escape the memories of her childhood, the demons that keep her awake at night. That man in the red shorts slows down as he remembers the boy he used to be, the teenager who jumped from the high cliffs of the gravel pit with his friends, unafraid to take risks. He wonders how he turned into a middle-aged man scared to speak up to his coworkers. The girl in the spandex is smiling because she’s got plans for tonight.

Music fills my time at the gym with an endless stream of stories.

6 comments:

liz said...

Oh, Jo(e). This is beautiful.

AliceAcademic said...

Love this post. That sounds like such fun!

Lomagirl said...

You make going to the gym sound fun, but I think we'd have to tap into your thought waves. If Boy in Black could find something to do that on ebay....
(What a sweetie to get you an ipod there, btw).

Seeking Solace said...

I will have to try that when I am at the gym. I love listening to music, but I never thought of stories.

jodi said...

I felt the same way when I first got my ipod - like everyone could the music that I was listening to.

henniemavis said...

Interesting! The exercising writers I know listen to podcast interviews with other writers or audio books on their iPods.

Sadly, when I am running to music, I am not filled with stories. My mind turns only to my breathing & the cadence of my feet hitting the belt. In fact, I tend to inhale/exhale to the beat of the music in some fashion. It's very much like meditation. It's the only thing I am thinking about... besides the occasional watching of the clock!