29 Aug 2012

The American Soundtrack to my Life

Some parties were made to be dull and forgotten, pass. Other parties were made to twist rules, break them, leave a lasting impression and make your heart skip a beat or two and go aflutter. The party I'm gonna tell you about is one of them. It happened slightly over a week ago, Saturday 18th August. It started off as an all-day open-day outdoor event organised by my work. It had been a gorgeous if scorching Summer day (remember I happen to be 'privileged' enough to live on a Southern French island!).

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The event carried into the balmy evening, although guest numbers started to dwindle fast after 8pm. Slightly after I found myself sat on my own at a garden table, patiently trying to work out the faulty sound system off some silly-billy mini-laptop computer, while silently grumbling about how boring the whole evening actually was. Then this dude came over: "Having trouble here? How about listening to music with this one instead?" I looked up. There was that American guy I'd spotted earlier on that day handing his shiny laptop computer over to me. "I've got over 10,000 songs on it, you can listen to whatever you want!" he said with a big smile. This guy was about to change my night, our night. He brought a vibe, a smile, a gaze, a beat, an aura that made him instantly shine from the rest of the crew. He sat next to me and we set the night on fire.

Now I'm no musical wallflower and I'm no Justin Bieber fan. I mean business as far as music is concerned, and no-one actually dares making fun of me in that department. My tastes are not associated with the more "expected", typical predictable female tastes in music. And this guy, understood it straight away. Where a French guy would have typically missed the point and bored me senseless with some intellectual bullsh*t, he was the man of the situation.

(Picture source)

It became clear that he and I were not gonna be crowd-pleasing DJs, we weren't gonna play music for the masses, or what was left of them, a handful of colleagues and friends hugging drinks and getting merry by the outdoor bar without even looking that happy... He and I made sure we got our bottle of white wine and returned to our spot.

Sat there we talked the absolute night away, in keeping with the music, dozens of songs from a variety of repertoires that personally, emotionally meant something to us. Reminiscence songs. And when I dare say the night away, do I look like I'm making this up? Uh, not really. We talked non-stop till I had to leave the next day Sunday at 10:30am to go to my mum's birthday party!

How about the playlist? Eclectic and not as heavy metal as might have been predicted. We listenened to everything from Incubus to Johnny Cash, Blink 182, The Doors and Soundgarden to Bob Dylan, Black Eyed Peas, The Killers, Sugar Ray, KiD CuDI, Neil Young, Papa Roach and Marilyn Manson. We talked about Lacuna Coil (although not a US band), A Perfect Circle, Stone Sour, The Dandy Warhols and of course Nirvana...

That night, to the sound of cool music we talked about travel, sport, religion, the quest for wisdom, the laws of relativity, fate, astronomy, Nietzsche, hobbies, goals, hopes, fears...

Time played against us, speeding past faster than sound. That's the way it always feels when you're in great company having fun: time flies. Like you're swept into a time capsule, time-travelling around your own orbit.

I never saw that guy again. Wherever in the world he is now, God knows.