Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Sound of Music

I thought I had the upper hand in the ongoing combat in which I’m engaged with my ever present Spanish adversary, Don Quixote.

I was feeling pretty smug, due to a secret weapon I deployed several weeks back that has resulted in my not actually reading any of the text in say, 300 pages, yet still yielding a high rate of return on measures of evaluation.

Now, lest you jump to the conclusion that I’ve stooped to the shallow depths of Cliff’s Notes and their ilk or even some graver slight of hand, let me assure you that I have absorbed the text on a word-for-word basis. Let me further offer that my arsenal bears the stamp of approval of my sister, the essence of purism.

I gained command in the battle over this dry tome when my resourceful husband gave me a 36-CD audio accounting of the exploits of my armored foe. With the power of multi-tasking working for me during otherwise wasted commutes, I quickly overtook the forces—over 900 pages strong—that promised to seize control over my waking hours.

In my initial reveling over the success of my racket, I forgot that battles are costly to both sides. No one really wins.

The toll extracted from my person began in such an innocent, yea even uplifting, manner that I didn’t recognize what was happening. I found it a mere curiosity when in the middle of random Thursdays and Fridays I had the choruses from whatever praise and worship song we sang in church the previous Sunday running a continuous loop through my head.

When one particularly virulent chorus persisted well into its second week, I identified the problem and attributed it to its proper source—the Quixote CDs, which replaced the wide range of music I formerly enjoyed on my daily commutes.

Resilient, I laughed the problem off. I embraced the chorus, singing it aloud to dull the effect of its merciless grip. Not to be beaten, Quixote redoubled his efforts and struck back, this time taking advantage of an otherwise harmless gaming episode with my husband.

Following an evening of virtual boxing combat with our wii, I awoke the following morning to a disturbing loop of the tinny, computer generated notes from the wii background soundtrack. It goes roughly like this: Da da da-da-da…dat,dat. Over and over and over.

And over and over and over.


Bordering on a level of insanity that rivaled that of my knightly nemesis, I chose to rebel today. Tossing aside the disk of droll Quixote verbiage, I listened to music....selections of jazz, nearly forgotten favorites, random clips from the radio.

The fact that I actually wept with joy and relief I find at once embarrassing and necessary to report. The horns! The piano! The percussion!

With The Big Project looming, the war wages on. But I’m already planning to have the last laugh. Turns out, Man of La Mancha is in town, and I think I’ll drag my husband to see it. I figure if I can still celebrate the story, then I will have truly won.

As long as it’s not a musical.

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