Well, I did it. I got a fish. His name is Tammy, because he’s brightly-colored and showy like a drag queen. Also, I have zero faith in my ability to keep a fish alive, and I have no problem recycling the name Tammy. Like The Smoochies in college (some of whom only lasted a day or two), all of my fish shall be named Tammy. It’s going okay so far; the stress of having to buy all his junk and maybe remember to feed him every so often has killed my desire to adopt a dog, and that’s pretty much what I needed him for at this point in my life. There’s logic in there somewhere.
I also broke down and bought an iPod. It’s one of the older-generation shuffles (aka the cheapest thing out there), but this is pretty huge for me. I used it for the first time during my walk to work on Thursday (and one of the first songs to play was “Smooth Criminal.” And I skipped it. There’s absolutely no significance to that, but you can bet I’ll remember it forever: my last pure MJ experience (if there is such a thing) and I skipped it. Hmm). I’ve never felt so hip in my life.
This hipness lasted exactly two days, at which time I bought a record player at a garage sale. I also got six records, five of which are musical soundtracks. The other is Elton John’s greatest hits. I’m now a gay man in the seventies, or possibly my mom. (Neither is surprising.) I shouldn’t have to tell you that none of this was planned. The only major purchase I’ve ever made with any amount of planning was probably Tammy; everything else — record players, iPods, seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, every form of processed sugar product I call “groceries” — just sort of find its way into my shopping cart/life. I do think it’s significant that I got the iPod and the record player in the same week, though: I was veering too close to being technologically savvy, and I can’t have that. Maybe I’ve seen too many robot apocalypse movies, but I generally resist technology and change. Instead of an iPod and a GPS, my car has a radio and a map from 1992. Instead of a Blu-Ray and digital TV, I have a VCR and a loaner TV set that gets no channels. I’m willing to accept things up to a point — a point that the rest of the world passed around 1999, probably. I’m like new-wave Amish, or your grandmother. (Neither is surprising.)