memory and objects

I think I’ve unleashed some kind of crush demon.

Let me explain. For Christmas, I got a Yamaha Silent Brass system. It’s a brilliant marvel of engineering, somehow interrupting the vibration from the bell of my trumpet and redirecting it into a set of stereo headphones. this allows me to play any time without risking eviction or grievous bodily harm.  It had been a good while since I dug out my trumpet, and it felt good to play again–even if only a few notes to try to regain my chops.

But ever since I started playing again a few days ago, I can’t stop thinking about the first-chair player I obsessively crushed on in band. Not the same sort of crush-sick horny desperate feelings I had, but rather cringing regret at how I stalked the shit out of that poor bastard my first year of college, with all the freedom and anonymity of a new place and new life, and none of the social grace everyone else seemed to have. Much like my trumpet skills, thoughts of Mr. First Chair had been dead for more than ten years. That is, until, I oiled the valves and started to blow.

Mind you, I have absolutely no intentions or even desire to contact him or try to make something happen. In fact, the one who gave me the Yamaha Silent Brass system is my boyfriend of nearly two years who I love very much, who is adoring and attentive and gives me confidence–the opposite of what my obsession with Mr. First Chair ever did for me. (Not to mention, the sex is fantastic, so it’s not any kind of, erm, lacking in that department that would mentally drive me into the imaginary arms of an imaginary person.)

The only explanation I really have for this phenomenon is that, perhaps objects with history have some kind of hold on our memories, like smell. As hokey as that sounds. Maybe I have to forgive myself for being woefully inexperienced and for wasting so much time and energy on someone who wanted little and less to do with me. The real kicker here is that, had I spent all that pent-up passion and mental energy on actually, you know, playing the trumpet and not pining after Mr. First Chair, I’d be touring the world with the Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra or something.

And so, I will play the past, and I will play the present. Youthful pining and dissonant regret, followed by crescendo and resolution into true love. The stuff true music is made of.


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