I’m sitting at my kitchen island, still in my pajamas. Well, my semi-pajamas — they’re the sweats I throw on first thing when my feet hit the floor, the perfect (if slightly schlumpy) ensemble that works for the early morning potty run with Bowie and Mona.
Glaring at the teetering mountain of dirty dishes both beside and in the sink, I rue my decision not to take care of them last night. Truth is, I often talk myself out of that last household task of the day, which means that I frequently have to psyche myself up before I can approach the more fulfilling activities of the day. You would think that the joyful anticipation of a gleaming kitchen in the early morning would produce the necessary burst of energy needed to wrap up the chore before retiring each night. Hope springs eternal.
To put myself in the proper frame of mind, I blurt, “Hey Alexa, play my Spotify ‘Liked Songs’ on. . .” I get mired in the details and pause before telling her which speaker device to play them on. (I should have more carefully thought this out ahead of time.) Alexa cheerily chirps and preempts my directive, beginning the playlist in the wrong room before I’ve finished my command. I begin again, “Hey Alexa, play my “Liked Songs” playlist on Spotify IN THE KITCHEN. (Sometimes I get confused on whether I should be bossing Siri or Alexa — Siri is much more fastidious about how I boss her. Her silence after any directive implies that I didn’t preface it all with “Hey Siri”. Alexa just does whatever the f*@% she wants in the end anyway, so sometimes it’s just more entertaining to see what she comes up with.)
A mellifluous version of “Under the Boardwalk” by John Mellencamp immediately permeates my disordered kitchen. Okay, okay, I can work with that, I decide.
I rise. Turn the water on while simultaneously reaching for the dishpan under the sink. Organize the mess.
And then, “As Long as You Follow” by Fleetwood Mac penetrates the air. Now we’re rockin‘! I think. This is the thing, my friends. When a song comes on that reaches into you, fills your every needful space, you can’t help but respond with deep feeling. A lot of Christine McVie songs have that effect on me. I can’t explain why. My hips begin to sway, my feet do what they do when I try to dance, my eyes close. The dishes are forgotten. I lift my elbows and and reach my arms as if to embrace a partner, the one who used to take the lead. I feel loved again. I move within a small space while the music wraps me in a protective cocoon. The song ends, but I’m not ready to return from its reassuring warmth. So I play it again. . . louder. And I sing along with it this time.
I would play it a third time, but an annoying voice in my head says, excessive. So I don’t, but what if I did?! Who cares?! For a few minutes of feeling loved again — even if only in my imagination — it would be worth it.
Moments like these always seem stolen. I’ve yet to feel worthy of them. For those who have lost their dance partner. . . the one partner who made you feel wonderful and beautiful and loved through and through, you get this. Special songs are the magic that allows us to kindle those deep feelings — if need be, over and over. And over.
Alexa, play “As Long as You Follow” by Fleetwood Mac. One more time is not going to hurt anyone.
(From my phone Siri pipes in, Still working on it. She eventually capitulates, admitting, Hmmm, I don’t have an answer for that. Is there something else I can help you with?)
Sigh. . . Siri just doesn’t get me.