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There's no single song that I fall asleep too, just a set station. It was a habit I picked up from my father.
I never thought it was weird that he spent a lot of time alone in the master suite of our family's second apartment. My mother explained his hours alone in the dark as his time to relax. His perpetual eye trouble meant sitting in the dark was relaxing. The world-band radio he was given one year was appropriate company. Who wants to sit in the dark with no soundtrack?
I'd keep him company on occasion, as I got a little older. Looking back, it strangely coincided with the fraying ends of my parents' marriage. I remember CD 101.9 coming out of the scratchy world band radio- Spandau Ballet's True coming into the bedroom from some studio in New York City. He'd open the blinds and we'd just contemplate the red sky as snow or rain fell. I'd get bored and press my face against the chilled glass and take in the semi-circle drive of the building.
I don't really remember talking to my father when we'd sit together. The moments probably didn't last long anyway.
I realize now that it was a little weird for him to do that. I mean, he did spend time with us- watched TV on occasion, sat in the living room on Sunday afternoons to watch and yell at the McLaughlin Group. I assume my parents talked to each other.
But that was where my father could be found if he wasn't anywhere else- sitting in the dark with his contact lenses off, window open and smooth jazz drifting out from under the door.
It was the first place I would wander to when he first left us. I'd go back and turn the lights off in that room, thinking it would be like having him around. My brother would go on to be less forgiving of my dad leaving, we would make each other laugh by dragging our feet across the floorboards. We needed to hear his limp above the near audible tension of all the adults in the house. I'm glad it was only a matter of a few months that it took place. I can't imagine a year of looking for someone who wasn't there.
Anyways- old habits die hard. New York doesn't have a Smooth Jazz station anymore, and I never liked leaving my computer on all night. I'll set my clock radio to a classical station and let foreign strings carry me off to sleep. If I don't feel like listening to anything necessarily familiar while I clean the house, I'll stream a station on Last.fm or Pandora. When J and I held our family Christmas lunch, I opted for this over holiday music on Music Choice. It felt right. Like my father's habit could be there with me, along with his new habit of being absent.
So I sort of lied, I don't sleep to smooth jazz.
But my brother does.
For all the animosity he has for the man- for every drunken conversation he and I have had over him that leads to horrendous fights and extended absences in each other's lives- he secretly carries our father in mind.
I had to slip into his bedroom one morning to grab a cord or a pen. It was early enough for him to still be asleep. His laptop was on, streaming iTunes' equivalent of CD101.9- with the faint threads of inoffensive sax and atmospheric keyboards coming out of tiny speakers.
30 Day Song Challenge
day 01 - your favorite song
day 02 - your least favorite song
day 03 - a song that makes you happy
day 04 - a song that makes you sad
day 05 - a song that reminds you of someone
day 06 - a song that reminds you of somewhere
day 07 - a song that reminds you of a certain event
day 08 - a song that you know all the words to
day 09 - a song that you can dance to
day 10 - a song that makes you fall asleep
day 11 - a song from your favorite band
day 12 - a song from a band you hate
day 13 - a song that is a guilty pleasure
day 14 - a song that no one would expect you to love
day 15 - a song that describes you
day 16 - a song that you used to love but now hate
day 17 - a song that you hear often on the radio
day 18 - a song that you wish you heard on the radio
day 19 - a song from your favorite album
day 20 - a song that you listen to when you’re angry
day 21 - a song that you listen to when you’re happy
day 22 - a song that you listen to when you’re sad
day 23 - a song that you want to play at your wedding
day 24 - a song that you want to play at your funeral
day 25 - a song that makes you laugh
day 26 - a song that you can play on an instrument
day 27 - a song that you wish you could play
day 28 - a song that makes you feel guilty
day 29 - a song from your childhood
day 30 - your favorite song at this time last year