In my calloused hand, technology smolders. A tiny button atop a child sized finger of metal and plastic moves me into another place. It’s a dimension of Joe Strummer, John Lennon, Johnny Thunders, David Bowie, Slash, Jimmy Page, Kurt Cobain, Joan Jett and Bob Dylan. It seems impossible to be in the presence of musical genius but through the shuffle of 600 songs, I am. My escape from stress, boredom, uncertainty, and fear happens in a click. The treadmill is my slave. The kids are alright.
I reject convention, ignorance, normalcy, and the status quo while I raise my fist and dance with heroes of sound and fury. I am punk. I am rap. I a hip hop. I am folk. I am glam. I am metal. I am rock and roll. I turn the button off.
My boss is calling. I have to work. I need to check in with my wife to see what her lunch plans are for today. Who is picking up my teenaged daughter from volleyball camp? It’s me right. Wait, I think her grandmother is handling that. I need to call her. I can’t download the R-56 notes from my work email. Is this the phone call where I find out if next project is in Maryland or Houston or Fort Lauderdale. I’ll call my boss back.
I turn the button back on. My transformation is complete with in seconds.
I am feeling the heat off Johnny Marr’s guitar strings as he begins The Smith’s How Soon Is Now? The music moves through my body. I vision a small, cramped, sweat drenched London Club in 1988. I can smell warm beer and British desperation. The last notes play. I turn the button off.
I have to call my boss back. We’re on great terms. I have a feeling this is the big call. I text my mother in law and my wife. Finally, the notes download. I can’t wait to hit that button again. This time, maybe, I’ll be in Los Angeles in the late 1960s.