We didn’t used to download.
Nope, after spending a few weeks saving money from mowing lawns, shoveling driveways, or delivering papers it was time to get on a creaky bus and head downtown to the record shop. After walking around dusty aisles, chatting with the snobby staff, and flipping through plastic-wrapped stacks, you’d finally find the one you wanted. After paying, you’d get back on the bus, tear off the cellophane, and excitedly flip through the lyrics and liner notes before getting home.
Next it was time to run to your bedroom, flip on your stereo, and peel the black plastic disc from its sleeve. Maybe that’s when you stared at it for a second and wondered how that little plastic groove could hold all those guitars and drums, before setting it down spinning on the machine.
The sound of the needle hitting the record is the sound of a big moment about to happen. It’s the shotgun before the race, lightning before the thunder, or lion’s roar before the movie. It’s the sound of waiting, the sound of saving, and the crackly sound of imperfection opening the way, into a perfect moment, into a perfect day.