Monday, April 20, 2009

Music for Bachelors

When I was home for spring break, I had a little slice of time to spare before I jetted off to Miami. In that little slice of time, the Boy From Work decided to steal me away for a day and take me on an adventure. He drove me around tiny no-name towns and we stopped at sweet, small antique stores, places he passes every day on his way to work. He was--is--trying to woo me, and he knows that opening the door to a store stocked with musty old doilies and crooked furniture is the surest way to my heart. I love antiquing. I love rooting around in piles of other people's things, wondering what kinds of lives the items had before they came here, to some store in the middle of nowhere. The potential to find really bizarre or wonderful things is remarkable.

And during those stops I did find some wonderful things, but none as wonderful as the record I found tucked into the back of a milk crate in some forgotten corner of a store in Franklinville, the town we used to ride to in the back of my best friend's sister's car, on the way to the teen dance club where we would raise our arms when the smoke machine hissed out its maple syrup-smelling mist, where we would cram into the corner booths and curl into the boys we loved, who were boys we had absolutely no business loving.

So I was nostalgic as we drove past that little teen dance club, which still sat next to the town skating rink, but nostalgia would soon be replaced by an overwhelming sense of awesome! as I pulled that record out of the milk crate. On its front there was a sassy lady sporting big hair and a thin robe. She was on the phone. She was looking over her shoulder. Her gaze said, Hiya, Big Boy. The record was titled Music for Bachelors.

I squealed and clutched it to my chest. It was mine, mine, mine. I wanted to hang it up in my office. I thought if ever I was having a bad time of things, if ever I couldn't turn a pretty phrase to save my life, all I would have to do is look up at that framed record and think of bachelors from the 1960s picking through racks at the record store before settling on this particular selection, which they would take home and play while patting cologne on their cheeks, while mixing martinis, while walking a date out to the terrace to see the stars. It was all very Down with Love. And that would make me feel better.

So I bought the record for a dollar, and then I proceeded to leave it in the back of the BFW's car.

Today, though, the BFW called me up and said, "Check your e-mail, okay?" and I did. And in that e-mail I found that he, too, had been transfixed by the album's cover, that he hadn't been able to squelch the urge to whip out the Music for Bachelors and get cozy with its rhythms and patron saint, the thin nightgowned woman. He produced a lovely little photo essay to prove to me that my record was in good hands, that Music for Bachelors wasn't going to waste. It was safe, and it will stay safe until I frame it and put it on my office wall.

It's like she's got tractor beam eyes. The BFW can't get away. And how could he? That girl's got tractor beam eyes. It's enough to make anyone want to listen to The Girl from Ipanema, which is--of course, of course!--the first song on the record.

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