There is no explanation that I can think of for why I started thinking about Beck in the shower this morning.
Whatever the reason, the line of thinking frustrated me. The shower is usually where I do my deeper thinking: ideas for writing, wondering where my life is going, trying to bring into focus the scattered and fuzzy plan I don’t yet have for rest of my life, or even the next chapter.
But today it was Beck and his recent Grammy win for Album of the Year, which somehow caused a kerfuffle with Kanye West, who felt that Beck needed to respect real artistry, or something to that affect — yes: Beck not respecting artistry — and somehow a memory came to me.
It started with me trying to come up with an analogy but not knowing what I was trying to compare to my memory, which is always an odd position to find oneself in: knowing there’s a perfect way to explain it but not grasping the words with which to do so. So my analogy started with… ‘something’.
Something…is like finding yourself standing with your date at a Beck concert after Midnite Vultures was released, and since your date is quite tall and finds it rude to stand in front of people at concerts, you are standing in the way-back where you, being quite short, cannot see, except in the quick glimpses offered between a shift of shoulders from time to time in front of you.
Even with the growing kink in your neck from the struggle to see, your mouth is set in an open smile, from the music and from the few things you can see, including the cause of the argument you don’t yet know is brewing: an elaborately decorated bed being lowered from the ceiling. This makes you laugh out loud and you think, how great! You look over and up at your date, who you happen to be married to, and see that his eyebrows are furrowed which makes you think, oh, and your laugh is strangled by a small anxiety in your stomach.
After the concert you pile into a car with your husband’s friends and they talk about how amazing the show was, but your husband is quiet and answers in gentle disagreements. Everyone is used to this. You say how much you loved the bed coming down; it was like an Aerosmith concert or something, this ridiculous BED?! So funny!
Your husband says something to the effect of who does he think he is? That was just so corny. He completely lost my interest at that point. The Husband obviously didn’t get it.
I think he was just, you know, mocking the huge crazy ‘show’ that some musicians put on, all sex and grandeur and over-the-top fluff. His music doesn’t need that stuff but, you know, he’s singing these sexy songs with funny lyrics, he was being funny. You start losing the steam behind your own explanation because you are being given ‘that look’ and it was never worth trying to make a point when the look was coming.
You didn’t know then that this would come up again and again throughout your ten-year marriage: Beck’s concert. In itself it was an analogy for your entire relationship. His brow furrowing at the disappointment of realizing he wasn’t getting what he’d hoped for; you shutting down because it wasn’t worth it to defend your interpretation of situations.
I realized, while soaping my hair in the shower, that I hadn’t purchased a Beck album since that concert. I would have had to listen to it in private and while I do love music that is personal as well as shared, I take an unrealistic offense when someone I live with openly dislikes the music I love, and it sours the experience for me.
From there, my shower thoughts became more reflective, and it occurred to me that regardless of where they begin, my thoughts will always manage to get to the right point, if I give them some time.
But then I got worried: about the drought, about how far my mind would go. And so I turned the water off, and went on with the busyness of my day.