My girlfriend and I broke up four months ago. It started with my fear of commitment and ended with me sobbing in front of my television watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I think the 60″ screen actually increased the level of sadness in the room. It was a rough time. It still is.
One thing I really had to look forward to was what I was going to do with all the new “me time” I gained. I felt like that guy in the Twilight Zone who survives a nuclear holocaust and realizes he can spend the rest of his life reading without interruption…until his glasses break. That episode always hits me on a personal level. It makes me feel like the bad guy for wanting time to myself. Like I’m finally going to get it and then not be able to do anything because fate favors people who socialize a lot.
To ensure this didn’t happen after my breakup, I developed a list of things to accomplish during my time alone.
1. Write that album I was always talking about recording.
2. Learn French.
3. Restart my blog.
4. Learn how to write code and develop an independent video game for iOS.
So far I’ve done very little of each. Instead I’ve filled my free time with other things…
1. Beat Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze in a day.
2. Watched a wide variety of movies including, but not limited to Michael Bay’s The Island and Starship Troopers.
3. Completed every episode of Breaking Bad: Season 5 in a single sitting.
4. Made a nightly habit of flipping between Twitter and Facebook to keep up with lives far more interesting than my own.
I feel like there is so much in front of me I could be doing. I just can’t bring myself to do it because I’ve metaphorically broken my glasses. I’ve entered a personal funk.
Here’s hoping I find a way to fix my glasses soon.
I just ran that metaphor into the ground.
Some Nights by fun. was the first record I ever personally owned. It was a birthday gift from my girlfriend at the time back in August. She figured it would be a nice reminder of the Amoeba Music we visited on vacation in Los Angeles earlier that year. It was. But she didn’t realize that this one vinyl LP would start a revolution…
…get it? Because it’s a record…
The hipster section of my apartment.
It only took me a few hours after receiving the gift to run to the nearest Target and pick up a cheap record player. But I found it pointless to own a record player for the sole purpose of playing one record, so later that week I ventured out to a used book/music store in Kent to add to my collection. I wore my messenger bag and the tightest pair of jeans I owned just for the occasion. If the store wasn’t empty I would have blended in nicely.
I loved the feeling of flipping through rows of albums with my hands and not knowing what I was going to find next. There was something about finding that copy of Led Zeppelin’s debut album in a random pile on the floor that felt so much more rewarding than downloading it on my phone from anywhere in the world. Even when I started buying newer records on Amazon with the click of a mouse, there was still something special about having a physical copy that I could display in my apartment.
I won’t even make the pretentious argument that records sound better. I actually can’t make that argument because the speakers on my turntable sound like I’m listening to my iPhone stuffed inside a piñata. The quality is terrible, but nonetheless it’s nice to sit down and listen to an album all the way through without multitasking. I now own 35 LPs and that’s not counting the 20 or so I took from my dad when I was home over Thanksgiving.
Yes…that’s the Fiddler on the Roof soundtrack in the back.
I decided that, even though I would still listen to music digitally, I would purchase a vinyl copy of the albums I truly love (and some that I like just enough). This is the first time I’ve officially collected anything since middle school. Only, unlike my Pokemon card collection, this one actually leads to interesting conversations that don’t end in me getting kneed in the groin by the jungle gym.
Shortly before my girlfriend and I broke up, she got me one of the greatest Christmas gifts I have ever received. She had a few of my original songs pressed onto vinyl. Fortunately we’re still good friends and the record serves as a strong reminder of that. It’s nothing like having a few songs that I made on my computer. It’s something so much more than that, like a one of a kind painting or a childhood journal that you protect and can physically hold on to forever.