There’s rain and there’s rain. Maybe there’s a difference at the edge of a continent. Late afternoon when we entered the cabin. I didn’t know the guy. A friend of a friend of a friend bent over the old phonograph–a record player we called them as kids, small and nearly square, with dull silver buckles, a plastic handle, worn leatherette skin. The kind you lower the arm and bring the needle down yourself. Like sparking a flame, that quick broken note before it takes and follows the groove of the record, into music. We stood and listened to him listening. I have no idea: jazz or a slow ballad, some rock star burning out in a year or two. So many scratches, the wash of static, the rain outside. How the ear gets past all that, and surrenders. Or his hunger, so deeply tangled. Had I ever seen such pleasure? The moment just before, how it really sounded.
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