How To Be a Killer
The shag carpeting in my bedroom was a garish mixture of bright blue and seventies green, but it was plush underfoot as I slipped my Mom’s Supreme Crooner on the turntable of my pink plastic record player. Set under a double window, the sunlight slanted through the crack in the roll down shades, almost like a spotlight.
A spotlight just for me.
I danced to the swinging beat of Mack the Knife in that shaft of light, starting a life-long love affair with smooth-sounding men. Humming along to the shark bites and cement bags and oozing bodies, I swirled and twisted, tumbled and turned, energetic enough to make the needle skip around the rotating surface. When it was over, I played it again and again, until my Mom came into my room and gyrated with me, joining hands and kicking feet. She sang the words, periodically interjecting warnings.
Don’t listen to the words, Andra. Just enjoy the sound.
Dip. Clap. Kick.
What’s wrong with the words, Mommy? He makes a shark bite sound cool.
Turn. Shuffle. Turn.
Well, this song is about a bad man who goes around stabbing people to death.
Shimmy. Shimmy. Sqquuueeeaaaaaakkkkkk.
What? Why would somebody make a song about that?
I stood there, panting in the silence, waiting for my mother to enlighten me on a profound mystery of life.
Sometimes, the beat gets us through life when all the words clash, when they’re hard, when they don’t make sense. The beat can be what drowns out all the rest of it, if you let your feet shuffle through to the other side.
What song has a profound meaning in your life?
This post is part of the series The Soundtrack of Life. If this is your first visit to the series, please click here and read the first installment. Thanks for your contributions and insights in the comments. They always enrich this blog, especially in a series like this one.