Getting your place set up is hard. I’ve made a lot of progress lately, yeah, but I still have a long way to go. My love seat is currently covered in DVDs. There’s a stack of devil masks in the floor between couches. There’s random junk including Prismacolor colored pencils, a TITLE Boxing hat and a skull on my coffee table. The coffee table, itself, is acting as a headstone beneath which is buried several video game consoles, their various wires and a variety of games for each.
The wall that runs from my couch through the dining room is lined with boxes of records and CDs. There are toys and a meathook, severed turkey feet and more art than my place has walls to hold. My siamese twins Amy and Valerie are currently standing almost in the middle of my kitchen floor and my bicycle is standing where there should be a dining room table.
We won’t even talk about the junk in the office/studio. Let’s also please not talk about the bags of clothes I haven’t gone through that are sitting in my bedroom floor.
It’s a mess, but I’m getting there. Such a slow, overwhelming process, but a process nonetheless.
Over the weekend a friend helped me load up the last bit of stuff from my old house into a uHaul truck. My giant toolbox was loaded (in two pieces) beside my grill and smoker. The Bicycle was tied up next to a wall that also had random tools and charcoal resting against it. In the very back, though, stood one of my prized possessions — my record player.
In several pieces, mind you, but it was in there. I have a large console record player that I bought at Nostalgia in Bearden a few years ago. It’s the first actual record player that I bought with my own money. I wanted a console because I love how “grand” it seems. It’s not just a stereo, it’s a piece of furniture. A piece of furniture that lights up a brilliant orange when you turn it on and sings every song with the satisfying hum of electricity pumping through its electronic veins.
I mean, it doesn’t do any of that anymore because it’s broken. But if it did work, that’s what it would be like. My console broke a few years ago and I have no idea how to fix it. Electronics have always been an interest but that interest stops at the line between enjoying them and repairing them. I know nothing about it.
To remedy the problem, I hooked up a newer, more modern turntable we were gifted and sat it on top of the console. The turntable’s RCA cables were then hooked up to a cheap $40 preamp I bought from Amazon that is then hooked up to my old three-disc CD changer and its speakers.
Is it audiophile-worthy? Not even close.
Can I still hear my music and crank Motorhead’s Ace of Spades so loud the walls shake? Bet your ass I can.
After moving out of the house, one thing that was really bothering me was not having my record player or my record collection. I’m addicted to my physical music collection. This is why I have hundreds of records still and at least 1,000 CDs. I was able to hook up my Amazon Echo once I got internet at the new place but it just wasn’t the same. I could hear any song I wanted but I couldn’t physically hold on to it.
That all changed on Saturday.
On Saturday afternoon I knelt in the floor of my living room while my friend Lindsey watched and I hooked up every bit of that ghetto-ass stereo rig. I put one of my Amy Winehouse records on the turntable and dropped the needle. It was at that moment, kneeling in front of my stereo that’s positioned neatly under my velvet Elvis painting, that I realized …
… I’d done something wrong. No sound was coming out. Everything was hooked up and turned on — so WTF?
(I didn’t put the stereo on AUX setting — bad nerd)
I hit the AUX button and then at THAT moment, I heard the voice of an angel singing about how she doesn’t have the time for rehab, and for what it’s worth, her father thinks she’s perfection. I had to agree with her. She is perfection.
As Amy’s soulful voice poured out of my speakers and straight into my spirit, I looked at Lindsey and said “At this moment, I’m happier than I have been in the last six months.”
And it’s the truth.
I just hope my neighbors love Lana Del Rey as much as I do.