Having a little bit of time to kill today, I ducked into a Salvation Army store, absent-mindedly thinking I might find some cheap bookshelves or something.
What I found instead was a graveyard, a stark reminder of the inevitable passing of all things. There will always be remnants of obsolete technology in a thrift shop, the occasional 8-track tape or off-brand turntable. But when they sit unloved and unwanted on shelves, passed over even by kitsch collectors, all the Anne Murray lps, the tube TV sets, the boxless, homemade VHS tapes, Selectric typewriters and ColecoVision cartridges seem to take on an almost unbearable poignance. The world they were made for no longer exists, and yet they still exist, ready to perform whatever task was once asked of them.
The music piped through the store seemed in a strange way to reinforce the eerie mood--a "Best of the eighties, nineties and today!" radio station, blandly pumping out the likes of Jason Mraz, Jason Fucking Mraz, music seemingly designed to be as non-threatening as possible, and utterly disposable. Popular now, but soon destined to seem as strange as the copy of the You Light Up My Life soundtrack which somehow made its way into my hands.
The thought of buying it flickered across my brain, to see if this slab of vinyl could act as a sort of time machine, to take me back to the person I was back in 1977, when the title song played on the radio in a seemingly endless loop. But now that song, and all this now-failed technology, once so bright and shiny, seemed so old, and what did that say about my past?
And what does it say about my present, or anybody's?