Scratch, being an older vehicle, has a most peculiar way of play musics, aside from a standard AM/FM radio-with weather band capabilities, which intrigues a weather geek such as myself-and a CD player. This device is called a tape deck. Isn't that something? Have you, gentle readers, in this advanced and enlightened age of iPods and MP3 players, ever heard of such a thing? Dig it, back in antiquity, portable music was played via cassette tape, on something called a walkman.
Next, I'll be telling you of walking to school uphill-both ways!-in the snow, barefoot, and being grateful for it, because it made us tough! Unlike you candy-ass whipper-snappers of this here modern age. Ya'll are fucking soft.
Back when I was young, and up through my roaring twenties, I made mixed-tapes. This would be the direct ancestor of mixed-CDs and the setlists my daughter sometimes compiles on her iPod. When Jezebel and I hung out all the time, the creation of a new tape was big doings; we'd jump in her auto and tool about the greater metroplex, burning fuel late into those neon-laced nights, grooving to our tapes, trying to see if the other could decipher the riddles, the jokes, the hidden cosmic truths contained therein. Aside from monkey watching, coffee, and playing rummy-sometimes done all in the same night-this was considered fun.
Recently, going to the library's book sale, I've acquired a few lightly used cassettes; Stan Getz, Benny Goodman, and a compilation of Cuban music that only pays correctly on one side-the other sounding like the Chipmunks on speed, if such a thing were possible-for only a few coins. How novel. The nice librarian felt bad for even charging me anything. Times change; I remember, back in antiquity, when it cost real money to get a cassette.
The last time I went out back to the barn, our ramshackle folly, which is testament to mountain ruin, I checked on my bicycle and rummaged through a few boxes we have stored out there. I found them; some of my mixed tapes, along with just a few others I've had for years and lifetimes. Just looking at the labels and titles I concocted took me back. I smiled bittersweetly and thought of those long drives with Jezebel back when we were young and told riddles, jokes, and hidden cosmic truths through the placement of songs on a cassette.
I do not know if any of them play, and, even then, how well. Be that as it may, I have a ways and means to find out. The CDs and radio can be played at home. Driving time might just find itself being reserved for the tape deck for a bit.