Tonight I came home with every intention of doing yoga and then the wine was all "I'm all nice and chilled and I've been waiting for you. Don't you like me anymore?" I hate to see libations upset. So instead I’m doing a different sort of exercise wherein I'm listening to music writing whatever is conjured up by the songs. This is brain exercise. It's a different sort of muscle memory. Don't judge.
1. So What- P!NK
I was unceremoniously laid off from one of my jobs. Does anyone get laid off ceremoniously? I imagine it involves long robes and wigs, an speech or two, possibly ending with an indignant retort, and maybe a goldfish. Mine had me in a chair with my jaw on the ground. Anyway, this song came on when I got off the train at the end of my first week at my new job. I strut-walked the whole way home and nodded at the cars in the intersection and shouted “You can’t freelance fabulous, baby!” They honked. In agreement, I think.
2. Crazy in Love- Beyonce
I'm not going to pretend I don't pop it like I got it when I hear this song, but I don't think I want a pager. I not at all hoping anyone will page me right now. Am I? Were those a thing? I think they were. I spent a long time abroad (I've almost never been a lady) and I have lost almost an entire decade of pop culture references. Once I was playing charades and I had “The Hughleys," (was that a thing too?) which I read as “Huff-leez.” So I spent my minutes tugging on my ear to indicate “sounds like” and gesturing puffing on a cigarette, looking for all the world like a chain-smoking Carol Burnett signing off for the night. My team found this hilarious and interesting, but they had no idea what I was doing. And it’s only a game but I still stomped my feet when they corrected my pronunciation (it’s “Hyoo-leez”) so they gave me another drink and said they liked my shoes. I win.
3. You’d be So Nice to Come Home to- Julie London
I may have secretly time-traveled to this year from the 1940s and/or actually lived then and live here now. You know, when it was all apartments and pianos and sending out for sandwiches and calling down for drinks. When you dressed for dinner and everything was champagne candles and meaningful looks between curls of cigarette smoke. When banter was witty and people said “banter” and knew what it meant. Because I’ve time-traveled from a black and white movie. If you’re going to time travel, do it in black and white, I always say. It shows much less dirt and you don’t feel badly about smoking.
4. Elegantly Wasted- INXS
Oh Michael Hutchence. I saw you in concert. I bought a new outfit and flirted with boys who flirted back but didn’t mean it because they, like me, were there to see you. We smoked clove cigarettes and rolled our eyes in a studied attempt at irony and then squealed when we saw you. Also, when my iPod announces this song, it sounds like “Ell-eh-gahnt-lee Wahhhhsted,” which is super funny.
5. Beautiful Day- U2
I want to run through the streets and fly in a plane and drive a convertible down Route 66 or through the Highlands and tell people I’ve been all over. But I’d leave out the part where “it’s been all over [me]” because I don't to be quarantined just for a song.
6. La Vie en Rose- Louis Armstrong
I love this song. I always have. I love the many versions of it but I especially love this one. It's playful and slow...not lazy but lingering. It's what you want to hear on a lazy, perfumed afternoon. If you are standing you want to be swaying; if you are sitting, you want to be stretching. This song sounds like what it feels like to lick a spoonful of chocolate.
7. Heaven on Their Minds- Jesus Christ Superstar
This musical is either #1 or #2 on my list of favorite musicals, depending on how I am feeling about Gene Kelly, red-headed orphans or Christmas. It is a Rock. Opera. This song has an amazing bass tab (I looked up that word). It's very seventies. Ian Gillian from Deep Purple was Jesus on the original concept album. I can't...if you don't know this...don't tell me you "don't like musicals because singing and songs and all that singing..." You don't not like musicals, you just haven't found one that likes you yet. Stop with your I-don't-like-music. Just stop.
Like most exercise, I thought I'd be able to do more, but now I'm just exhausted. This is like a pensieve of plainsong. Also like most exercise, now that I'm done I just want more wine.