Rockin' in the free world

I write for a humor blog with two friends, James Malins and Cherie Michiko, called Misusing Big Words. This post was originally published here:
http://misusingbigwords.blogspot.com/2008/01/rockin-in-free-world.html
I recently joined the ranks of the headphone-sporting, music-listening, iPod people. You know the ones. They walk around with those things in their ears, ignoring everything around them, that I’m-way-too-important-to-be-troubled-by-all-you-mortals-with-your-untethered-heads-and-your-unblocked-ears look on their faces.

Well, now that’s me.

The only problem is, I’ve always been very aware of my surroundings, constantly looking around, taking in the sites and sounds and smells (which can be especially fun in LA. Usually the smell is something like alfredo sauce stirred by dirty feet combined with oregano squirted with skunk juice).

Now, though, as I walk around with my jams kicking into my skull, I find something curious happening. First, I start walking to the beat. Pretty soon I’m bouncing down the street almost gangster-like as Grandmaster Flash tells me “The Message” of how the jungle of the city is weighing him down.

Then, almost on cue, the world syncs up to my tunes in an epic feat of harmony. The cars roar by in rhythm, a bus honks to punctuate the lull between the verse and the chorus, a jetliner soars overhead to perfectly complement the syncopated cadence of the music.

I’m practically swimming in my groovitude. I’m making eyes with everyone I come in contact with and we’re all nodding to the melody and to the notion--We’re alive, we’re hip, and we’re all in this together, making beautiful noise, making memories, and making the world a better place.

And just as suddenly, the album ends, and all that joy, that sorrow, that mix of emotion and blend of genius on the edge and artist on the verge, it all shatters and clatters and smashes back together into the dull roar of the city, waiting for something to stir it to life again.

There I am, looking around, thinking that maybe there’s something to these headphone-sporting pod people after all.
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