His music collection followed him through the days of his life like a happy curse.

Through all format changes, major to minor, vinyl to cassette to cd to Mp3 to Cloud it followed.

And left him always with the task of re-formating his own history every few years.

Would that remaining the same person, recovering himself at each new technological acquisition, be as simple as transfering the old files to new ones.

“Think of your whole life when it is done”, he thought, ripping another cd to another harddrive, “when it’s done you’ll finally have a complete collection.”

For he was a completist, and therefore, until that dying day, his ripping and collecting, whatever format, was never truly done.

Each move, each break-up, each time of plenty and period of despair, each left a scar on his record collection. Breakdowns and losses and someone stealing his W.S. Burroughs cd from a house party in 1993, and so years later, or perhaps the next day if the record store was open on a Sunday, more re-collection.

There has been a time, once, when he’d felt his collection was complete, that it contained, at last, comprehensive representations of each artist, each emotion, he’d felt at certain moments, but the problem of history, even a personal one, is that it is always subject to revision, when new old facts come to light.

Or de-luxe re-mastered additions. The current renovation of the not-distant past made a complete collection impossible in the Present.

He sighed among the dust of his collection, through the weight of the years in vinyl, plastic, and invisible electricity, sighed to think of what it might like to be done someday, to sit there an old man in a single subsidized senior apartment, having transfered the last audio footnote of his long life to whatever format they were using in the future, there that last tape, transfer, rip and download, there at last to some invisible future device, and then thinking that, the last note of the last song tracing a familar vibration on his aged timpanic membrane, there, at that point, with that last beat, that last note, an end, an end, to re-collection.

About reluctantprodigal

Born in Detroit. Naturalist writer-thinker-poet living in the Greenbelt around Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.
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