A 24-Hour Mixtape

I wake up late.

I wake up late every day. No matter what I do, I wake up late. My snooze button is my best friend until I sit straight up and realize that 20 minutes ago was the latest I could possibly sleep and still make it to work on time.

I jump out of bed and run to the bathroom, grabbing my laptop with my right hand and my towel with my left. I turn the shower on, take my clothes off and place my MacBook on the counter. I realize that Spotify is already open because I fell asleep listening to Bon Iver’s cover of “I Can’t Make You Love Me” (again).

I throw on my morning playlist, which is uplifting and embarrassing. “Under Pressure” by Queen, “It’s Nice To Be Alive” by Ball Park Music, “Don’t Bring Me Down” by Electric Light Orchestra and half of “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac plays before I am out of the shower, towel drying in our frigid bathroom. It’s officially fall and every nook and cranny of my house is freezing and will remain that way until sometime next May.

The rest of “Dreams” plays, followed by Hall & Oates’ “Rich Girl” and “Peacock and Wing” by the Fresh and Onlys, while I blow-dry my hair and put on some mascara.

Computer closed, music off, pants on, down the stairs, coffee and an apple and I’m in my car listening to Sirius XMU. I bought a new car last year and they gave me free Sirius radio for six months. I thought, “What kind of sucker gets tricked into paying for Sirius radio?”

I learned the hard way and now I am an addict and my drug of choice is Jake Fogelnest and the Download 15.

I drive down Flaggy Meadow Road, ignoring the 45 mph speed limit because, as I said, I am late. “The Mother We Share” by Churches comes on.

This song is so familiar. It hits me and before I know it I am fiddling with my iPhone to play Purity Ring’s “Fineshrine.”

Cut open my sternum and pull my little ribs around you.

I think about listening to it again, but resist the temptation. “Yet Again” by Grizzly Bear, “Silent Machine” by Cat Power and my best friend calls half way through “Amy a.k.a. Spent Gladiator” by the Mountain Goats. I think about ignoring her call, but decide to answer and play more Mountain Goats when I get to work.

I am the first person in my office.

This Year” by the Mountain Goats, “January Wedding” by the Avett Brothers, “The Wild Hunt” by The Tallest Man On Earth, “Lull” by Andrew Bird and “Nicest Thing” by Kate Nash.

Oh, Kate Nash. I should know better by now.

I wish you had a favorite beauty spot that you loved secretly ’cause it was on a hidden bit that nobody else could see.

I go down a rabbit hole of British girl singers while I check my e-mail, make coffee and update my calendar.

Someone To Watch Over Me” sung by Amy Winehouse. Although he may not be the man some girls think of as handsome to my heart he carries the key. “Delayed Devotion” by Duffy. ‘Cause your actions speak nothing no more when it’s what I’ve been waiting for. “LDN” by Lily Allen. It doesn’t get me down and I feel OK cause the sights that I’m seeing are priceless. “Since I’ve Been Loving You” sung by Corinne Bailey Rae. I open my front door; I hear my back door slam. You know I must have one of them new fangled, new fangled back doors man. Make You Feel My Love” sung by Adele. I could make you happy, make your dreams come true, nothing that I wouldn’t do.

“Dylan? We’ve got an 11 a.m. call.”

I look up and check the time. It’s probably for the best; I was starting to search the Spice Girls discography, tempted by “2 Become 1.”

Our 11 a.m. am call leads to 12:00 p.m. lunch. My coworker comes along and the Lumineers play in the background as we chitchat about things like the weather and other people we work with.

Whole Foods’ salad bar and all of a sudden we’re back in the car. M83’s “Reunion” comes on and I turn it down because I seem to be the only person in the entire world who doesn’t like M83.

I’ve been listening to The Antlers’ Hospice on repeat for the past two weeks and I put it on as I pull a stewardship list from our database. Hospice is a concept album about a hospice worker and a dying cancer patient and their relationship.“Prologue,” “Kettering,” “Sylvia” and I have to turn it off because I’m about to break my ‘no crying at work’ rule.

Quick – something upbeat! “Rio” by Hey Marseilles.

Think of the shorelines you have yet to see. Men who will hold you with eyes you believe

Afternoon coffee and water cooler talks with the nice boy down the hall. “Savage” by Hacienda; “Shadow People” by Dr. Dog; “Wildest Moments” by Jessie Ware.

Check-in call with Boston followed by “Come Home” by Chappo, “Betty Wang” by Hospitality, and the entire self-titled album by Quadron with a double play of “Slippin’” (because it literally makes me feel cooler and more interesting when I listen to it).

My ex-boyfriend Facebook chats me. We talk for a few minutes about an upcoming trip. I am compelled to listen to Rilo Kiley afterwards.

Breakin’ Up.” It’s not as if New York City burnt down to the ground once you drove away. “Silver Lining.” I never felt so wicked as when I willed our love to die. “Portions For Foxes.” There’s blood in my mouth ’cause I’ve been biting my tongue all week. “Hail To Whatever You Found In The Sunlight That Surrounds You.” And the weather changes not halfway between your house and mine.

Rilo Kiley leads to Modest Mouse.  Modest Mouse leads to Spoon. Spoon leads to Wilco and memories of Bonnaroo 2007. Wilco leads to the Shins, which leads to the Shins covering the Postal Service, which leads to the Postal Service, which leads to Death Cab For Cutie, which leads to 6 p.m.

Stop. It’s time for happy hour.

At the bar, the music is jazz. “Just Friends” by John Coltrane, “So What” by Miles Davis. I mime two chords on the air piano around :44 and a guy down the bar asks, “Do you play?”

“Not well.”

I stay for a drink but leave before two. On my way home I tune the radio with my right hand. “The House That Heaven Built” by Japandroids. I change the station.

My phone rings and I spend the rest of my car ride home talking about my best friend’s boyfriend. When I get home, my parents are listening to Norah Jones on Pandora and drinking bourbon. “Sunrise” comes on as I pour myself a drink. We talk about our days, eat dinner, make plans for the next week and I’m off.

Work e-mails, Skype, apartment hunting, writing, 30 Rock, Community, brush my teeth and it is time for bed.

I end the day where I started.

Just hold me close, don’t patronize me.

I wake up the next morning to a freezing cold house and to find that I fell asleep listening to Bon Iver, again. TC Mark

image – Shutterstock

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