To start, I have to prepare to be savaged by Afistaface, Andey DeLesDernier, because my mixtapes long ago ceased to be rendered on actual cassettes. She is the only person I know who is more of a purist than I am.
Mixtapes are a very important subject to me. I’ve been thinking about them for as long as I can remember, even though I was never quite the savant that some of my friends were when they were younger. In fact, I don’t think I ever made a proper mix until recordable CDs were on the scene; I made a few tapes to play in my car or give as gifts, but I didn’t really use them properly back in their heyday, and it’s definitely a case now where “mixtape” is more the preferred nomenclature than any representation of the physical product.
As I tend to do in my life, I have over time evolved a set of rather draconian rules about what a mixtape is for me. Of course, as with most of my self-imposed rules, they apply only to me; I think someone else using them might even defeat the purpose.
(This gets into a whole other issue of why I give myself strict limitations for work on which I have historically failed entirely to follow through. But I think that might be an entirely different subject.)
I was born when my mother was 21. My brother followed a couple days after her 24th birthday. She spent her entire 20s taking care of at least one child, when she was the age that’s turned out to be (apparently) the prime time of my life.
I don’t envy her that.
This song made me cry over someone else once, someone who was lying right beside me when it happened.
That was over within a year. But it was still years before I could listen to the song without hurting.
When I started hanging around musicians all the time, one would have thought that my intense interest in music as well as whatever potential I’d shown in that direction would have manifested in me, you know, learning a fucking instrument. But I didn’t.