Just Push Play
My hand reaches out to push PLAY. I get so close, whether it’s the small triangular symbol on my phone or iPod, or the CD player in the car. I reach for it, then pull away, or switch the radio on instead.
There are a lot of things that I loved about my husband, but it will always be his music that caught my attention first. I fell in love with it years before I fell in love with him. We first met in Aspen, Colorado at a John Denver tribute concert in which we were both involved. For many years we had both lived in Nashville but had never crossed paths. Now, halfway across the country, we were working on the same event. In fact, we barely met while we were working that week—we mostly connected on the flight from Aspen back to Nashville. We laughed and got to know each other and, along with my co-worker Terri, drank free beer that Pete had somehow sweet-talked out of the flight attendant. (That went well until he made some remark about Alabama and she cut us off—guess she was from Alabama). Through these conversations Pete learned that I owned a public relations company and how I was involved in the Aspen event. Not long before the flight landed Pete gave me the “Nashville handshake.” That’s what we call it when someone hands us their latest CD unsolicited. I’m not sure how much we’d had to drink on that flight, but by the time we had landed I had already agreed to listen to the album and help him with publicity for his career. Pete was a very persuasive guy.
I took Pete’s “Catch & Release” CD back to my office and listened to it on my Apple Macintosh computer, and all it took was once. I began to listen to it incessantly. I would get into the office before the rest of my staff and would play the album beginning to end every morning to start my day. Sometimes twice. It became a ritual. I was already pre-disposed to instrumental guitar music, particularly Earl Klugh, Al Di Meola, George Benson, etc…but there was something really different about the way Pete played. At that time I couldn’t explain it, but I knew he was different from any player I’d heard up to that point.
Eventually I had the opportunity to actually watch him play, up close, and I could see it in his hands. He was the cleanest player I’d ever heard and had such a light touch.
So there you go. I was a fan, first and foremost.
Now, I just can’t hit that play button. It’s the cure that hurts. It’s the vaccine I need, but can’t bear the needles, so I chicken out. Oh, but when I work up the nerve, it’s so healing. If I can push play, I’m in love all over again. I time travel right back to where I heard each and every note for the first time. A beautiful all-consuming pain. If I hang in there long enough, I actually start to enjoy myself.
So which is more painful? Never hearing Pete’s music again? Or hearing it and missing every moment we ever spent together. I know the answer. I’d be lost without his music.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who avoids pain to her own detriment. Tell me about yours.