All iPods Go To Heaven

4 Mar

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I suppose this is a sort of obituary for my iPod. Last week my iPod was stolen, and needless to say, I feel a loss that can best be described in the first few primal responses that come to mind. Shock, anger, frustration, sadness, and numbness are the emotions that came to me after I realized my iPod was gone. It’s more than just the monetary value of the iPod that mattered to me. It was actually pretty old–I bought it over three years ago and it was on its way out–but the sentimental value that bugs me the most.

There’s hardly ever justification for theft, and when you break into someone’s room and take what isn’t yours, you really take more than just the object. You take a little bit of the person’s trust in other people. You take a little bit of the person’s soul that was put into that object, if that object truly touched them enough.

As I’ve alluded in some other posts, music is incredibly important to me. It gets me through a lot of times, be they good, bad, or just a fleeting moment. Over the years I’ve done some intense traveling, and the iPod was always there with me. Through hours of long bus rides, layovers and delays, and killing time in the car, it gave me what a lot of people wish they could have. It gave my life a soundtrack. I’ll always have a character theme with certain parts of the world now because of my iPod.

I suppose it just seems like I’ve grown attached to a material thing, and that would be a just assessment, but I think it goes deeper than that. I think what was truly stolen was my old travel buddy, the old faithful that would always cheer me up just when I needed it, or lull me to sleep in an uncomfortable part of the world. I think it was the idea of having a piece of my travels taken away, because no matter where I was in the world, I had that music player with me, keeping me entertained.

I tend to personify my things sometimes in an attempt to feel some connection with what I’ve done. Sometimes I’ll joke that I trust my old backpack more than a person because that pack held up under intense traveling, and that person hasn’t proven themselves in the same situations yet. “This jacket’s been with me all over the world, so be careful with it.”

When I traveled to Lisbon I was by myself for the first time, and to comfort my loneliness and insecurity of being alone, I turned to my MP3 player. It stood by me the whole time. Later, when I was traveling alone for two weeks and on other trips, it kept me company on the trains, in the parks, and while reading on long airplane rides across the oceans. I believe that you can bring out a different aspect of traveling with the addition of music, and with the music gone, a part of that experience is also gone.

Of course, I still have the music saved on my computer–the only place I can access it from now. And someday I’ll be able to buy another iPod and have those good times on the road with my music again. But for now, I can’t afford a new one, and I’m just going to have to learn to travel with the roar of the jet engine and the snores of my roommates. Luckily, I usually have a song in my head anyway. But maybe this is a good thing too. Maybe I’ll pay more attention to the local music, or to the local noises. I’ve always listened for them, but now I can completely focus on them, rather than the song in my head that I just heard.

I guess in the end it just comes down to me missing my old friend, my own personal soundtrack, ready to follow me around, spotting on and off and the lightest touch. A material thing from the outside-yes-but a real thing from the inside. And someday when I have that music with me once again, I can relive the old days, and make some new imprints on my musical memory. A new friend with an old face.

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