I still remember it like it was yesterday. There I was, enjoying something that was exactly whatever I wanted it to be at the time. Something that could make me laugh or sigh; something that could make me call out or bite my bottom lip to keep me from making a sound; something that could even make me cry on any given day, depending on circumstance. And then, it just stopped.
A long, long time ago
I can still remember how
That music used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And maybe they’d be happy for a while
But February made me shiver
With every paper I delivered
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn’t take one more step
I can’t remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride
But something touched me deep inside
The day the music died
There was never any indication that anything was wrong. There were no warning signs that we were headed down a very dark path from which there would be no coming back. In fact, it was my birthday (February 23 if you’re keeping track of these things) and everything was great. My then boyfriend was out of town. He had bought me a giant telescope for my birthday present so that I could engage in my first love when nights were dark and lonely. I finished up my beer and gazed at M42 in the constellation Orion. I marveled at the way the different filters for my lens made it appear in all different colors. Content with the wonderful show I’d just given my eyes, I was feeling pretty good about turning 29. The last year of my 20’s, a birthday party coming up when my boyfriend returned home, and plenty of time to myself, which is something all of us introverts thrive on. So, I figured it was a pretty good time to give myself an amazing orgasm or five before calling it a night.
Oh, and there we were all in one place
A generation lost in space
With no time left to start again
So come on Jack be nimble, Jack be quick
Jack Flash sat on a candlestick
Cause fire is the devil’s only friend
And as I watched him on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage
No angel born in Hell
Could break that Satan’s spell
And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite
I saw Satan laughing with delight
The day the music died
It was the first vibrator I’d ever had. He had purchased it for me because I was concerned about being lonely while he traveled. It was somewhat of a going away gift – he was going away and this was my gift. Little did I know that his going away was a gift in and of itself, but it was still early and I still had stars in my eyes, but not from the telescope.
Jack Rabbit. He was everything I could have wanted in a first vibrator, with the bunny ears lining up perfectly where they needed to be, 3 different motions and 3 speeds, which I dubbed, “yay!”, “wow!”, and “Oh. My. God.” Countless hours were lost in my enjoyment of Jack, and I was the happiest girl in the world. No wonder women enjoyed these things! You could get much of what you needed at your own pace, no fuss, no mess, no expectations. No tired sighs from a partner when you were ready for more and they just wanted to sleep. He was always there, always ready and filled my entire body with the joys that only music had previously done. HE WAS MUSIC.
And so there I was, about 15 minutes in to one of the greatest experiences of my young life. The music was humming, making me hum along, sometimes tapping my foot to the perceived beat. Getting closer to the inevitable crescendo that would cause me to sing out loudly. Oh wow it was about to happen, yes…yes…YEEEEE….
I instantly checked to see if I had inadvertently pressed a button in my fevered frenzy, but button mashing did nothing in this case. Figuring I’d just have to start over, I reached into the bedside drawer to change out the batteries.
“Oh, come ON” I declared, smacking him against my leg, pleading for him to just turn on, just for five minutes. I could make it happen in five minutes! I tried stroking him, taking to him, shaking him both gently and vigorously, each time trying the buttons again to see if I could turn him on. I even tried kissing him. Nope. Nada. Nothing.
Frustrated, I tossed him on the pillow next to me, and had a conversation with him. I was pleading. Bargaining, almost. What I would give to just have him come back to life. That was when I smelled the faintest hint of electrical discharge. Almost like a burning scent, but nothing that would cause alarm. Well, except for the fact that it was the motor in my vibrator that had literally burned out.
I gave up that night, and fell asleep frustrated and tired and lacking the big O I had been working toward.
I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news
But she just smiled and turned away
I went down to the sacred store
Where I’d heard the music years before
But the man there said the music wouldn’t play
And in the streets the children screamed
The lovers cried, and the poets dreamed
But not a word was spoken
The church bells all were broken
And the three men I admire most-
the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost-
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died
I went to the adult toy store the next day to see if I could find a replacement. I stared longingly at the high-end models, thinking that you had to spend the money if you wanted it to last. I picked them up, held them to see if I could find something that just felt right. It was then that the woman said, “Ma’am, we’re closing.” In that instant everything felt cold and dark. My happiness taken away from me in an instant and couldn’t be replaced as quickly as I had hoped. I left empty handed and dejected. I’d have to just do it myself with no help and that would be that.
I went home and cleaned up my room. There was Jack on the side of the bed. I gently picked him up, tried to push his buttons one last time, though I knew that was an exercise in futility. I held him tenderly as I walked to the kitchen, opened the trash can and dropped him in with a sad, “goodbye”.
So bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey in Rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die
Mad props to Don McLean for singing “American Pie”. Proper credit for all of those lyrics –
Writer(s): Walter Carl Becker, Donald Jay Fagen, Don Mclean
Copyright: Music Corp. Of America Inc., American Broadcasting Music Inc., Red Giant Inc., Benny Bird Co. Inc.