I was either a sophomore or a Junior in high school and I
babysat for a single mother that lived a couple miles away.
I must have been a sophomore because she used to
pick me up and drop me off after she got back in. The
child I sat for was a mere baby and I guess she trusted
me because I had an infant sister and knew how to
pick a baby up without breaking its neck and wasn't
squeamish around a soiled diaper.
It was a pretty cush job. I think the woman was
going on dates and I would get there around
seven or so and give the baby some frozen
mama's milk and then put the little bugger
to bed. I would check in on her now and
then just to make sure she was still breathing.
I started the sitting for some extra dough but
I came back for her ex-husband's record collection.
The one album that I played the most and really
caught me by surprise was the Rolling Stones
album Exile on Main Street.
The living room was a perfect listening room.
It was long and narrow with a nice old silver
stereo system with a record player and cassette
player and the speakers were nicer than any
I had ever had the chance to operate.
It was a double album and folded out and had
all these strange black and white photographs
covering it. I remember the picture of the guy
with three balls in his mouth specifically.
Interspersed with all these strange and confusing
photographs were pictures of the band looking
younger than I was used to.
I played the records over and over again. It's
dreamy and buried vocals forcing me to
concentrate and try and draw meanings from
the songs much like you have to do with music
by Sonic Youth. The whole album is epitomized
to me by the track "Just wanna see his face."
I would play that song first and then play the
rest of the album from start to finish.
Every time I play that album now I always think
of sitting in that small cozy living room and
listening in wonder to a magnificent album that
twenty years later is still one of my favorites
and I still don't know all the words.
Read on duh bus: The Locusts have no King by Dawn Powell
Listened to on duh bus: Blank Generation by Richard Hell