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The Vampire’s New Love

       Since moving to the Bay Area from London, I have gained and lost many loves. Like a vampire who has had to watch his mortal lovers age and die, I have become hardened to the process of saying farewell, but I will always have a special place in my heart for you, iPod Shuffle–for I loved you once, much as I once loved my Sony CD Sportsman. Sure she used to weigh me down as I ran through the stinky, wet eucalyptus leaves that paved San Francisco’s Panhandle, but it was a love that was pure and true as she guided me through the long grueling slogs through the city as I trained for my marathon.
I haven’t seen my heavy CD player in years, but I know where she is right now. She sits in a hardly opened drawer in my office, right next to another former love: my cassette tape player, which I purchased from Walgreen’s for $10 in the 90’s. You know what sits next to that cassette player? Why a transistor radio from the 1980’s. She was small and tinny and you couldn’t quite make out if the song had a bass line, but I once loved her. Next to her is a beat-up long wave radio, which I bought to listen to the BBC World Service’s broadcast of English football games. The long wave radio took nine long, agonizing weeks to arrive in America after ordering. She was handcrafted lovingly by a team of Chinese assembly line workers who likely finished making it in the time it takes to lick a postage stamp. I spent hours hunched over that radio trying to hear soccer commentary as Bavarian marching band tubas and Aboriginal chanting shadowed in and out, making listening to the game quite unbearable. But I did love her, that long wave radio, even though we had our communication disagreements.

         I tried to listen to my iPod Shuffle the other day and it wouldn’t work, and I think I know why. I suspect my iPod knows it’s a matter of time before she gets replaced or broken up with, like I broke up with all my previous listening loves. Maybe my iPod heard the rumor that there’s a new love in my pocket. Maybe it heard that my Blackberry Curve plays music AND videos and works as some sort of communicative device they call a telephone.
My iPod is making a bold move by deciding to break down at such a tenuous phase in our relationship. I have concluded that SHE is breaking up with ME. I don’t exaggerate when I say we ran thousands, (okay, I exaggerate) hundreds of miles together, although quite frankly, I was doing most of the work.

       The thing is I paid $120 for my iPod and well, jeez now I look at it, it looks more cheap-looking than a disposable camera. Hell even more flimsy than a disposable lighter. Was I that stupid? Did I really think that this little, white, plastic oblong thing could last? Was I so naïve in believing that this relationship could actually last longer than a year? I mean really.
Perhaps my iPod was set to die the day after the one-year warranty ran out.
I can hear the Apple store worker now. “Well, sir, that’s why we offer the extended warranty.” I didn’t get the extended warranty. I never get the extended warranty.

          So my iPod shuffle is dead to me. This time my love suffocated my iPod and after succumbing to my continual attention, I lost interest in her and she decided to leave quietly, graciously, and without warning.

         And so now my love belongs to my Blackberry Curve. And much like David Bowie’s character in the movie “The Hunger,” the iPod goes into the scary room at the top of the vampire’s mansion with all of Catherine Deneuve’s dead and dying ex-lovers.
“Hello, my loves, this is the iPod, she’ll be here with you all for awhile, so be nice. Just because she’s younger, better looking, and capable of more things than you could dare dream—don’t let that get you down. In your time each of you were my greatest love and nothing can ever take that away from you. I hope you all make sweet music together…sniff sniff.”

© copyright Matty Stone 2010

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