#158: Shopping for Records on the Anniversary of Paul Revere’s Ride

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On the 240th anniversary of Paul Revere’s ride,
I ride to Music Millennium for Record Store Day.
I wait in line for an hour to get inside
and while I wait I see a former student
of mine whose friend (just along for the journey)
is offered $100 by some dude with an ankle
injury to give up his spot in line.
I give $1, the last dollar bill in my wallet,
to a sad sad man who says he needs
bus fare. And speaking of busses, while we
all wait in line a bus pulls up
with a live band inside–and they do a set
inside this bus with the doors open so
people can hear, a three piece, I think.
There’s a drummer in the bus,
a guitar player who sings, and a bass player
who performs the set sitting on the floor
of the bus with his legs dangling out
the open doors. And the whole time the
bus is idling, you know, because that’s how
they are powering their amps.  They’re
pretty good but the exhaust fumes are
getting to me and I’m pretty happy as I
move farther up the sidewalk and closer
to the storefront doors and away from
the exhaust fumes.  Eventually, all
of us pilgrims are herded inside the store
and along a queue where all of the special
Record Store Day exclusive releases
are on display.  Each person takes his turn
flipping through the stacks in alphabetical
order and the line moves at a snail’s pace
while the rest of the store where one
would do his or her regular music shopping
seems relatively clear of crowd, nearly empty.
We all waited in line for an hour to wait in a line.
I love being here and doing this, one of the few
truly consumeristic pleasures I have, even
though I am underwhelmed by the offerings,
end up choosing only one Record Store Day
special release, a clear orange vinyl pressing
of “Do the Collapse” by Guided By Voices.
Everything else I bring home with me I could
have found on any other day at practically
any old time without having to wait in line
for an hour. New Death Cab, new Sufjan,
an old record sorely missing from my collection,
“Dirt” by Alice in Chains. No matter, I’m still
pretty pleased with myself, having had an
experience, an outing, a very public few hours
of solitude, doing the thing that since childhood
has been one of my very favorite things to do
in the world: shopping for records.

Published by michaeljarmer

I'm a public high school English teacher, fiction writer, poet, and musician in Portland, Oregon

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