Maybe 24 is the time to rewind the mixtape days and play old songs in the present—to sing away the future and slow-dance with today.
Mixtapes were one of the elaborate executions of my obsessive-compulsive tendency as a teenager. Hours had been spent with my trusty Sanyo single-cassette tape player, hitting that red-dotted button on precisely after the DJ‘s voice faded out, or off before counting to five to create spaces between songs.
One day I’ll blog about the story of this particular mixtape.
Mixtapes are not sophisticated in themselves, altogether are not a valid work of art, and are not as genius as painting portraits, crafting poetry, or tinkering with things in test tubes for a hobby. But if I were chrono-impaired like Henry DeTamble, I’d sneak into that specific finished time and steal those tapes from my radio-totting younger self, there in my old room as if I just crashed my own vault in Gringotts and my magical alarm sets off and I realize I do not have a wand.
God forbidding me to go to jail for filching my personal souvenir, I’d let the old tunes fill every corner and space of my current life. If only for a moment The Beatles would drown out The Fray. (Fade in: Yesterday, all my troubles seem so far away. Fade out: Where did I go wrong…? Ewww, so emo.)
And if it would not be asking too much, I’d press the pause button for the rest of my life, detach myself from the future, and stop trying to know what I want—even for just a week or a month. I’d let the familiar lyrics, melodies, and beat populate every waking thought, and let them remind me of what I already know about my identity, my purpose, and my dreams. I’d crank up the volume until the rhythm crushes my heart to the point of crying, breaking, and dying, and until I’m stripped off of false identity, purpose, and dreams. Until I have nothing again, with nothing to lose. ‘Cos then I’m ready again to gain everything.
I want my mixtapes back.
Edit: 06 October 2011