A case of nostalgia

My iPod broke yesterday. I know, poor little rich girl, the iPod purchased with Daddy’s credit card finally went on the fritz.But, like, my iPod broke. On a sunny Sunday. I feel like I’ve lost a limb.So I put aside the now-useless piece of metal and turned to the beaten, battered, stickered and stuffed CD case that holds my precious lifetime collection. The zipper gave out almost a year ago, but it’s always so jammed full of CDs that it never would close anyway.I flip through the soft and well worn plastic covers, seeking the CD that would perfectly fit that moment in time. I was in that emo, indie, indescribable mood between happy and sad, amid hopeful and cynical, sandwiched between funny and serious and there were just way too many music choices to fill the void.I’ve always thought that every mood has a song, every song has a complementary song, every artist evokes a different emotion. I had to find the perfect song, the perfect album. But I just couldn’t; my CD du jour just wasn’t there.Frustrated, I leafed through my “archived” CDs that had been demoted from “Most Listened To” all the way down to the ranks of “Sits in Jumble on Julia’s Desk.” “JULZ MIX Volume XIV” lay second to the bottom. Curious, I decided to find out what songs I listened to in past years. I popped the CD in and prepared for teeny-pop disappointment.It never came. Each song brought me back to a specific place, time and mood. A Counting Crows hit brought back memories of summer with my best friends at my side, laughing to the point of stitches. Wilco’s “Either Way” was the feel of the fake leather seats on bare legs during a rickety bus ride in the Dominican Republic. Ted Leo’s “Hearts of Oak” was late night Texas Hold ‘Em tournaments in a dingy basement.Fat Joe’s “Make it Rain” was obviously Prom 2008.Everyone thinks of the musicians they listen to – probably except for Fat Joe – as truly some of their closest friends. Their lyrics whisper the comforting words of a best friend and give me a kick in the ass at the same time.That’s why I’d never want to risk being without my trusty Case Logic, just in case. I guess it’s just too bad Citizen Cope and John Butler Trio aren’t on my phone’s In Case of Emergency contact list. And just when this reflective, 80-minute trip down memory lane was about to end, an unfamiliar beat pulsed through the speakers.The jarring tune skipped its way through a chorus until I realized that scratches in the CD caused three songs to mesh together into a cacophonous mush.Disappointed, I removed the CD from my player and put it back to rest in its comfy case. I remember why I got an iPod-maybe it’s time to invest in a new one-but I think I’ll still keep the case. Just because the past is a little damaged is no reason to throw it away.