Thursday, June 6, 2013

In Which I Am Introduced to R.E.M.

When I was twenty years old, R.E.M. released their first album.  I had some sort of virus that jacked my temperature up to 104 and all I could do was lie on my futon on the floor and listen to Murmur on a cassette player that would repeat the sequence of songs in a perfect circle of acquaintances and friends.   Occasionally my fever would break and I would wake to find myself dripping with sweat.  I'd fade in and out and dream about changing my drenched t-shirt.  Murmur would begin again.  And suddenly I had chills, bone-aching cold that would not subside no matter how many blankets I wrapped around myself.  I would doze and wake to Murmur gently rolling on.

It's so much more attractive inside the moral kiosk.   Rest assured this will not last, take a turn for the worse.   Did we miss anything?  The lyrics swirled dreamily in figure eights around my fever-addled brain.  This went on for days.  I was so sick that I wasn't worried about how sick I was.   There was just the litany of fever and chills, the call and response of Catapult and Radio Free Europe.

Finally, the fever broke for good and I felt like raising my head.  Gingerly, I sat up and turned off the stereo.  Steeling myself in case the virus resumed its assault, I made my way to the bathroom.  I turned on the shower and sat weakly on the john while the steam rose and fragile tears of relief rolled down my face.  

Not everyone can carry the weight of the world.