Thank You For The Music

self portrait with iPod

I can get quite sentimental about objects. Maybe that’s because I’ve spent many years on my own, living alone, working for myself, travelling so much, which made me learn to appreciate the company and comfort certain things can provide. Not ALL things, of course, I’m not a hoarder and actually I have quite a minimalist approach to the owning of material goods, but there are a few objects I cherish, which have been through a lot together with me, which have stood by me and kept going even when everything else seemed to fall apart (like the water cooker that’s been with me 15 years now and has tirelessly boiled water for my cups of tea across 5 countries).

If I can consider these few objects my friends, then there is one among them which has been my absolute best friend ever since we laid eyes on each other. And, as it also goes with human friendships, for reasons hard to understand and as sudden as a chameleon snapping a fly mid-flight with its tongue, I lost it.

It died on me, just like that. One short glitch of the matrix and it was no more, after 11 years spent almost entirely in my pocket. I will never forget the day I bought it – it was the absolute fanciest object on the market at the time, I had to save cash for over six months to be able to afford it. And when I finally did, I was happy as if I had bought a Mustang, or a villa with swimming pool in the South of France. Having it by my side made me happy in moments when there was nothing to be happy about, it made me feel strong and free through bouts of intolerable depression, it held my hand and caressed my ears while I licked my wounds after three disintegrated relationships, it allowed me to feel at home in stranger places, moving buses, other people’s homes.

Ah, the love and attention I put into transferring all my favorite CDs onto it, the songs I bought online with my first ever credit card, the carefully crafted playlists. But also all the shady, illegal gifts from friends who shared their music with me, downloads of rare compositions, stuff I could never get all back together again as it took me all these years to fill up each single one of its 30 gigabytes. And also, who still uses mp3 players these days? They are a thing of the past, they belong to the times when music was still something people would collect and revisit, rather than stream and forget about it.

Goodbye my beloved iPod, you will not be forgotten, nor will you be replaced, and I will always be grateful for all you did for me, for being hands-down the best object-friend I ever had.

[On a related note, my Grandmother also died in the past few weeks. But she was nowhere near being a friend to me. I hope she found her peace now.]


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