Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Lenten Project: Day Thirty-one

Confession time: when I was 15, I had this amazing mix tape with country music on it.  I thought it was heavy metal because I'd been taught all music with a beat was "rock," and therefore evil, and the designation, "heavy metal" just meant really, really bad.  I'd never listened to any real heavy metal, so I honestly had no idea that calling country music (Shania Twain!) that was ludicrous.

I got this bad music mix tape from my best friend, who, when I begged him to make me a copy of his Lion King soundtrack (also banned in my house, due to the wicked African beat), went a step farther and mixed me a tape full of jamming tunes, the better to corrupt me. He also taught me how to lie with a straight face when my parents suspiciously asked what I was listening to on my walkman.  ("Patch the Pirate, of course!"  Only, you don't say, "of course," because then it's obvious you're lying.  Just look distracted, make brief but not sustained eye contact, and try not to appear guilty.)

Ahh, Michael taught me many things, but how to say I'm listening to Patch
when I'm really listening to Shania is probably my favourite.

One time, I was home alone with my youngest sister while everyone else went on the grocery shopping trip.  I'd gotten to stay home and take care of the baby, and I knew I had at least an hour and a half before they all got back.  So I started recording a duplicate of my precious bad music tape.  I'd already been caught with it more than once, and had managed to save it from destruction, but I knew next time I'd better have a backup copy so my life wouldn't be over if it got ritualistically unwound and burned before my eyes.

That's my walkman, but it really IS playing Patch the Pirate here.

I was playing the tape while it copied on the stereo, enjoying being able to listen to it through regular speakers out loud in the sunshine instead of through my crappy earphones in the middle of the night.  The sliding glass door was open, but the gate in front of it was closed and locked.  The front door was also locked.

I kept going outside to check the driveway and squint over the hill to see if the van was coming home, so I could rush back inside to turn off the music and hide my tapes.  I held the door open each time, since it could swing closed and automatically lock, but on the last time, it slipped out of my fingers and slammed shut.  I was locked outside!  The baby was trapped inside, alone, the evil rock music was blaring, and any moment my family would come home and I'd be so much in trouble!

I slid to the ground in front of the door, crying and begging God to help me.  I ran around the house, trying to figure out another way in.  There was none.  All the windows had bars on them, which even I, skinny as I was, could not squeeze through.  I swore to God that if He saved me, I'd give up my evil rock music lovin' ways.  Finally, on the porch, I stopped and peered in at the baby, happily gurgling at me.  She couldn't open the door, or even give me the keys.


The keys!  I remembered that we'd kept spare keys hanging on the end of the curtain rod over the sliding glass door.  If I could pull the curtains down, the rod would fall, and I could pull the keys out and let myself back in!

It worked.  I was saved, and just in time, too.  Shortly after I got up from kissing the baby, kissing the ground, kissing the keys, kissing the stop button on the stereo, and kissing the bad music tapes, the family van roared up the hill and into the driveway.  The Fam spilled out and conscripted me to help put groceries away, never suspecting my bad music tapes were safely tucked away in my hiding place.


This is the gate and the curtains that saved me,
and this is my bad music lovin' self.

I didn't make good on my vow to God until I'd listened to my tapes a few times more.  Then I put them in the burn bin out back.  I even ripped out their guts and tied knots in the tape so I wouldn't change my mind and go dig them back out again later.  I wish I'd kept them.

Do you have anything in you got rid of in your past, but wish you'd kept?