Soundtrack of My Life

Music has always been an important part of my life. Not that I'm musical, but good music is a key part of how I make sense of the world. I chalk it up partly to having two older brothers who had great taste in music. It also helped that they liked their little sister and made mix tapes for me. They even put up with my tweeny obsessions with Duran Duran and Corey Hart—before I think the term tween was even coined.

From an early age then, I was exposed to “college rock,” “progressive rock,” “alternative” or “indie” music, whatever label fits the day. Bonding with my brother Michael would involve hanging out in the record store … yes there were still records, although they were shifting to tapes and then these shiny things called CDs. When we'd be driving in the car and I'd hear a song I'd like, I'd ask him who it was by. He'd always answer with the same name ... "Matthew Broderick." Brothers! ;)

Certain songs define certain moments. I hear them and they draw me right back in to the thoughts, the feelings, the memories, the way the light hit the floor. In a way, I guess you can call them the Soundtrack of My Life.

In fact, I made a mix CD with that title for myself in October of 2003—the month my mother died. I had it on repeat on the cd player in the kitchen of my parent’s house as I cooked and puttered and organized and cleaned in those days. I haven’t listened to the CD is years. I rarely listen to CDs in fact, my iPod having made them obsolete, which is somewhat sad itself in a certain way. I miss listening to a mix CD and knowing which song came next. If I made the mix myself, I’d think of why it was I placed them in that particular order. Or, if someone else made the mix, I’d try to think of what connections they were making. But I digress.

Sometimes the song “A Minor Incident” by Badly Drawn Boy comes up in the supersize mix that is my iPod. And I need only hear those opening poignant bars to be instantly drawn back into that kitchen … somewhere between broken hearted and open hearted.

There’s nothing I could say to try to make you feel ok
And nothing you could do to stop me feeling the way I do
And if the chance should happen that I never see you again
Just remember that I’ll always love you

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