The music that plays while I am waiting on the phone brings me closer to homicidal than almost anything I can think of…until the voice (I’ll call her Joan) comes on to remind me to look for upcoming specials and to continue to wait. Then I am more homicidal. The music is like a deep water drill bit sinking in to, all the way inside of, me. It hurts. But, of course, hanging up means they win. I won’t let that happen. I have already entered my account number so I have a spot in line, and even though the person who might eventually interrupt Joan, will definitely ask me for the number again (making me beyond mad, beyond words, actually almost bringing me to tears, but not quite–the anger finds a way back), I wait and I listen.
I start wondering about who the people are who are playing the instruments that makes this sound that I am hearing. Maybe it is all a computer. I hope so, because I can’t bear to think about the guy playing the sax on one of these cuts. He carries his instrument to a studio in Indiana probably, or North Carolina (nothing against Indiana or North Carolina. In fact, check out this photographer from both places. Here is his blog, here is the website and here is a photo of his that I love. His name is Stephen Jesse Taylor. Don’t know him and I didn’t ask for permission to talk about him, but he does write and make photographs and he spells Stephen correctly so I have taken liberties. Check him out, add his blog to your reader. He’s good.) because the price of doing business is favorable for the company that records this music. So he arrives, exhaling his last drag as he walks in. When he sits down next to his tired colleagues to both see and play for the first time while being recorded, the inane versions BJ Thomas songs, all he can do is sigh, close his eyes, and wet his reed.
The music way outlasts my short story about the sad musician, however. It is like time itself or the endless rains that carved out the grand canyon. It is patient. I start thinking that the music is actually eating my brain. Parts of it (my brain) feel gone as I am listening. I remember that in malls the music is chosen to discourage fights–happy, light, like this music on the phone, actually. As mad as I started out feeling, I am now, again, feeling the anger melt away. The sound has taken root in me, it is part of me now. I am docile and polite and ready to give the nice man my account number.