21 February 2011

Headphone Dreamers

On a particularly long bus ride today, I couldn't help but notice a young man all decked out in Rutgers regala listening to something intently on his headphones. What struck me about this was his expression that never really faded from fascination. He looked like the kind of guy that needs to make sure his socks are always clean and his sneakers are always in fashion but aside from that, a really simple person. Maybe he plays on the football team or some other wacky sports team. He kept his hands in his pockets and just listened to whatever was on that iPod.

Going to Rutgers, it's obvious that I always see people walking with headphones in and if I'm in close enough range I try to sneak a peek at whatever they're shuffling around on their little music players but not all of them seem so enthralled in their music. I imagine for most it's just a distraction from noisy bus engines and little girls chattering. Sometimes someone will have their music up so loud that I'm able to distinguish it as Katy Perry or Jay-Z but rarely do I hear something unique or outstanding. Just as clothes make a man, so does music. Whatever this young person was listening to determines a lot about what he was thinking at the time and the meaning behind that facial expression that was plastered on his face. Imagining it was Willie Nelson's "Stardust" album as opposed to Nickelback's "Greatest Hits" changes the value in my head. And not because one sound is better than the other, just that if it were something completely random and unexpected that gave him a particular jolt of sadness or remembrance of something in his life, it would have a more significant value to my imagination. I'd be disappointed to find out he was just zoning out while listening to Wiz Khalifa. It's rare in life that we get any profound moments of time and yet music really does contribute greatly to those rare occurences. It is often when I'm listening to music that I get those feelings I don't know how to explain. That's why I've always found music to be the most difficult thing to write about and therefore the most challenging. Not only do you have to feel inspired but you have to know how to put it into words and certain feelings just don't have accompanying words to express them. This person's facial expression today encompassed a lot of what I feel when listening to my favorite music and there's no way I could explain it on a little blog. I'm always looking for big moments in life but then when they come around they're too big to go home and write about. It's the smaller times that are the easiest.

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