Sunday, August 4, 2013

Mix Tape: Summer 2013

I have a life of small adventures. This works for me - I can really squeeze a lot of happiness out of day to day events. I like to think of it as a great efficiency of mine, plus it's way cheaper (not to mention safer) than any sort of dedicated thrill-seeking.

To make life even more exciting, I like to pretend that even the smallest adventures or uncertainties may result in dire consequences; I also like to help spice up others' lives by letting them in on the fun. Frequently, I achieve this by telling them that if I die (during whatever small adventure is on my plate for the day - checking in to a sketchy motel, for instance, or assessing a wetland guarded by a pair of protective nesting songbirds), they can have my mix tapes.

I say mix tape rather than playlist not just to date myself (we all know I'm plenty old), but because playlists lack any physical permanence and therefore - in my humble opinion - would be a pretty lousy thing to leave to someone. I heard a story of a woman who tried to gather together all her correspondence from a loved one who had passed away and was left with essentially nothing aside from occasional emails saying, 'I just texted you. Check your phone,' or, 'Did you get my text?' This is what I imagine playlists will amount to one day - a gap in the record of someone you used to know, that you have no way of filling. So I'm leaving people my mix tapes. (Which also don't precisely "exist" in a material sense [given that I never made any] but considering that the likelihood of my dying during any given small adventure is extraordinarily low, I'm sure no one will find this out and be disappointed by my duplicity.)

If mix tapes still existed anymore (do they?) it would only make sense that their contents would capture the spirit of one's life adventures. So I've been keeping a running list. For instance, a song that keeps popping into my head this summer is A Mind with a Heart of Its Own: I remember her standing in the tall grass and cattails; Away from the windows at the end of the day. That is the only line in the whole damn song that it at all applicable to my situation (i.e., spending a lot of time communing with wetlands), but it drags the rest of the song along with it so it's making the mix tape.

Sometimes when I'm Miles from Our Home, in some little town Where No One Knows Me, I'll be reminded of the interest a Red Headed Stranger (or, really, any sort of stranger) can engender amongst the locals. I'm Too Shy to really enjoy speaking with strangers but it seems they always have So Much to Say when they learn what it is I'm doing in town, and while it's wonderful that they clearly believe We're Going to Be Friends, I often find my afternoons Slip Slidin' Away. (Last week I stopped in a small town hotel to grab some lunch and ended up having an audience with the entire restaurant; this somehow led to the proprietor bringing me samples of wheat that had been affected by wheat midge - to stick in my purse, of course - and an invitation to the wedding of two people I didn't know, by another person I didn't know.) (I declined.)

By the time I get On the Road Again, I'm a little frazzled and I invariably end up Wasting Time on a Road to Nowhere. It doesn't help that I'm in a province Where the Streets Have No Name (ahem, seriously Saskatchewan - what's up with that?), but half the time the Days Go By and I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For (this because Where the Streets Have No Name). Which is frustrating for sure but I simply remind myself that I'm in Love with My Car [truck], plus It's a Beautiful Day, and I can't help but Smile.

Although this list lacks a strictly physical being, now that I've posted it on the interweb it's about as permanent as anything could hope to be (just ask anyone whose nude photos have made it online) and I can leave it to you in my will in good conscience. Y'know, just in case the wildlife survey I'm assisting with later today takes a fatal turn.

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