February 23, 2007

Magic Amidst the Misery: Even people with the flu have to smile sometimes

I want to tell you about a little bit of magic that I experienced today.

Those of you who know me well (and really, who but you would be reading this) will know that I’m one of those poor souls who, once I’ve gotten a song stuck in my head, finds it almost impossible to shake loose. And being a bit OCD anyway, it just loops and loops until I can listen to it a few times and move on to something else.

Yesterday I went home halfway through the day with a truly amazing quick-onset case of the flu. Honestly, I’m lucky I’d skipped breakfast. As it is, it’s a miracle I didn’t vomit up my morning ginger ale all over the bricks of Beacon Hill. So anyways, being in a bit of a foggy stupor, I crashed on the couch and popped on the nearest Netflix arrival–24 Hour Party People. The film is about Factory Records and the Manchester music scene in the late ’70s and ’80s.

So of course, for the rest of the day and all of today I’ve had two songs from the film looping in my head: “Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Joy Division and “Blue Monday” by New Order. Now I knew somewhere on some CD or other I had “Blue Monday” but I didn’t know where and certainly didn’t feel up to digging for it. So as a last ditch effort I thought, I’ll just put on the closest thing I can easily find and see if that helps. Flipping through one of our massive CD books I found “Newbury Comics Early Years: Vol. 2,” a mostly punk and new wave collection that I copied from a coworker about three years ago and had completely forgotten about. I put it on and went about my business, knowing that this was about as good as it was going to get. And then, nine songs in…magic.

Oh yes, children, it was Joy Division. And not just any Joy Division–“Love Will Tear Us Apart”!

I did a pathetic, haven’t kept food down for two days, couch dance of victory. This was it–my day couldn’t possibly get any better. I smiled and was happy for the simple things in life.

And then a few minutes later song 15 came on.

And I actually yelled, out loud, in my empty apartment, “NO WAY!

And I laughed loudly.

Because song 15 was “Blue Monday” by New Order.

Every once in a while, if you pay attention, life gives you a little gift. I guess it’s just easier to appreciate on some days.