Wednesday, October 19, 2011

music for urinals

Restaurant urinal, strong smell, a love song blasted from an overhead speaker, a woman singing about love as Lohbado took a pee. It felt absurd. One couldn’t even pee without having to listen to music that was not one’s choice. One never got to choose the background music. One was expected to get used to it. Most people seemed to like it or to tune it out. To not like the background music was considered abnormal. The problem lay in Lohbado’s not liking it.

     This struck Lohbado as intensely absurd as he peed and listened to a woman describe the pressures and responsibilities of her life and how she was hoping love would make it all bearable. As Lohbado washed his hands, a man squealed in a falsetto voice about how the woman made him feel like a man and how he needed her and therefore, she should love him in return. Lohbado gazed up at the ceiling speaker and marveled at the miracle of technology and how, in spite of the intelligence that went into creating such marvels, the content was so nerve grating and shallow.

The problem lay in Lohbado. Lohbado was abnormal for not liking the narrow range of music, deliberately selected to proclaim a way of life, the reality people were supposed to agree upon, consensus reality. He was expected to like, or to tune out the music played in the background of cafes, shopping malls, stores, hotel lobbies and public spaces.

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