Monday, March 9, 2015

Old School Cassette Night

In keeping with my last post, here is a letter I received at the end of February:

It's not a postcard, but a card, and check out the envelope...

It really is a pity that mixtapes are a thing of the past. They are such a marker of a specific time and place. I've made a couple of CDs for friends, and while it's a lot easier than recording cassettes, it's not as much fun. The flaws in homemade tapes - the scrap of the DJ's spiel from the radio, the abrupt cut when you don't push Record at just the right moment, the self-conscious soliloquies - often stand out even more than the music.

I still have a ton of cassettes from high school, college, and beyond. I break them out every once in a while to play on a Friday night when I've got nothing else going on. There's that moment when the music ends and you have to fast forward or just wait to reach the end of the tape before switching sides. Or you leave the room for a minute and when you come back you want to hear the song from the beginning and can't just hit a single button. Every time I play one of my precious, irreplaceable mixtapes I say a little prayer that this won't be the time that my boom box eats it. Dang Ramona got me a device that was supposed to convert cassettes to mp3s a few years ago - but the instructions were in Chinese and we could not get it to work, so I keep my boom box and I keep my fingers crossed.

a smattering of my cassette collection

So, this letter...
Like a new cassette from an old buddy, one who's been gone long enough that neither of you know where the other's musical tastes lie anymore, but somehow it all fits together, the familiar sprinkled with something totally new. This is what I have missed about correspondence.

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