We used to be so close. We would shut ourselves up in my dorm, and spend hours doodling on my homework, and catching up on reading. I would highlight the hell out of my books, and you, iTunes, would provide the soundtrack. In those days it was all Jet and Patrick Park. That’s when we weren’t just listening to the Wicked soundtrack, and let’s just admit, we were always listening to the Wicked soundtrack.
But things started to change. I got my iPod and though I still needed you to store all my music, and set up my playlists, we started to drift apart. Suddenly you didn’t know me as well. I would invite my friends over to drink on my living room floor, and you would play for the room. Mostly, you were a good fit for our gatherings, but occasionally you would get a little jealous. You figured negative attention was better than no attention. You kept calling me out at parties. No one needed to know I love country that much.
The fissure between us widened. I bought a car, and started listening to all my music on mix CDs. You could never quite awaken in me the same feeling as my car could, windows down on a summer night, music coursing through the breeze. I started mining for new tunes by tapping into the cloud. I bought a phone that let me carry all my music along at once.
We would still meet up when I needed you. You were always there to support me when I had to write a report for work, or type out a blog post. Still, things just weren’t the same. You had access to my whole catalogue, but you didn’t care. Even when my writing called for a happier beat, the best you could muster was something dreamy and sad that wasn’t exactly slow, but it wasn’t joy. You would still come out for our parties, but more often than not you brought down the mood of the room. “It’s not that Rufus Wainwright is sad,” I’d tell you. “It’s just that it’s not very happy.” Clearly, iTunes, you’re depressed.
Everyday I carry around more technology than I could have ever imagined in the days when you and I first bonded. I never anticipated that life would be a never ending turn-over of ever more advanced phones, or computers that fit in my purse better than a novel, or a music player so tiny I can clip it to my bra when running. I forgot about you along the way. As with every relationship, it’s easy to be tantalized with promises of the new. Some of those things were better than you in some ways; some didn’t even measure up. But the newness of it helped override any guilt I felt at leaving you in my dust. We let new technologies into our lives without ever thanking the technology that got us there.
So goes the cycle of love: if you don’t keep working to invest yourself in it, you won’t realize how much you’ve lost until you’re letting go.
Give me another chance, iTunes. I’m sure I can make you happy again.
Megan still has a little Nokia brick tucked away somewhere that probably deserves a little love