Saturday, April 9, 2011


It was 2047 and I was no longer alone. There were others. Not just one or two, but many. I'd lost count of the mismanaged cases that found themselves plastered across the front pages of newspapers. "Man Pirouettes Through Traffic." "Missing Wealthy Woman Found Living Among The Poor." "Five Year Old Siblings Beg For Jail Time." I smiled a sad smile.

My face once graced the front of the newspaper as well. I don't remember the details. None of us ever do. We are just as mystified as everyone else about our behavior. My story was one of repeated acts of battery. I was a teenager. Quiet. Received good grades and aspired to be a great musician. I was taking a late 20th century music class and had chosen a band named Metallica as the theme for my research paper. I listened to the music constantly. Partly I had to. I needed to understand the lyrics and the lead singer wasn't always easy to understand.

One day, I was listening to their album Master of Puppets while walking to the library. Their song battery came on and I heard a loud pop during the slow introduction. I remember looking around to see where the noise came from and being surprised that no one else seemed to be concerned. I didn't feel all that concerned myself. With a shrug of my shoulders, I pushed through the library doors. The introduction ended and the hard hitting, heavier beats surged through the headphones. I felt my heart and thoughts begin to race.

The next thing I clearly remember is sitting in the back of a police car, hands cuffed behind me. A police officer was holding my I-POD 7000Z and telling another uniformed man about the trashed library and injured people left behind. "Oh my God," I said in response to what I was hearing, "Did you catch the person who did it?" I knew by their astonished faces that something was seriously wrong.

In court, my defense was "the music made me do it." I was scoffed at. It was thought to be a ridiculous notion. Over time, it has come to light that I was correct. At least somewhat. Us. The 'we' that slip through the cracks and end up as front page news. We are affected by music, doing as it tells us. At least, until it is figured out and we are put on a steady diet of non-influential music with a court order to keep it with us at all times.

Smiling another sad smile, I replace my headphones before entering the store. Grocery shopping to Bach is how I spend my Saturday afternoons now. Dreams of being a recognized musician died the day I was diagnosed. I'll grab a newspaper on the way out. That's what I do on a Saturday night.

***One Minute Writer ***

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