By Waleed Majid, Staff Writer
Listening to music is a divine experience.
I love Music. Anyone who knows me can attest to my devotion and piety to Her. I love Her more than I do real people. She’s just so damn beautiful. I do everything with Her. While I’m biking, She whispers Roy Ayers, and when I’m about to sleep, She hums Erik Satie as a lullaby. Most of my time is centered around finding new Music; while I’m in class or doing laundry, eating, doing homework and every night until 3 a.m. I make Music my creed and practice. In fact, as I’m writing this piece, Music is with me, in the form of Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side.”
Saying that I merely love Music is an understatement, an insult, even, to my devotion. But what I don’t love is when people have the nerve to interrupt my time with Her. In fact, I don’t just “not love” it when someone bothers me while I’m listening to Her. I despise that person a hundred times more than Satan hates God. It enrages me, even, that I have to put Music on hold, leaving Her waiting and anxious, so I could entertain someone else’s inconsideration.
It’s so confusing to me why someone would go up to another, who is wearing headphones, nodding to their tunes. Is it not obvious enough that the person doesn’t want to be bothered? To be so inconsiderate to completely disrespect someone’s bliss is far crueler that any torture or any word of malice. I groan with defeat that I have to submit my time to the one interrupting me rather than to Music, the one who deserves my time and consideration at that given moment. Either the venomous dunces that want Music and me to divorce truly hate me and the little happiness I have in my life, or they are just inconsiderate.
But perhaps it’s not their fault. Perhaps they come from a culture where someone wearing headphones and enjoying Music is an invitation to interact with them. Or maybe they have a kind of fungus or swamp worm that eats away at their brains, causing them to lose all their inhibitions and involuntarily come up to another who is obviously wearing headphones, and is obviously listening to Music, and is obviously nodding, and is obviously humming to the funkalicious, Mediterranean, disco pop that is Ahmed Fakroun’s “Nisyan,” or Senay and Baris K’s “Dalkavuk.” I just can’t understand what goes on in someone’s mind to do something like this.
You may be saying to yourself, “Hey Waleed, maybe they just didn’t see your headphones in your ears because they saw you from a distance?” That is understandable, of course, and the one who does this is not as blameworthy. But it’s the times when I am next to a person in the classroom, they look to their immediate right or left and can only see the side of my head, wherein the most discernible feature is an earbud, and repeat my name multiple times to get me to take off my headphones so I can talk to them. And it’s so peculiar to me, I think, when they do this multiple times after I give them curt one-word responses signifying that I’m not in the mood to talk to them.
At some point, there is no excuse for this crime against my person and pursuit of happiness. I just can’t understand why anyone goes to such lengths to talk to someone and grab their attention when they are showing no interest in being talked to and refuse to give you any attention. It’s so desperate and pathetic. Especially when they are listening to Music.
Now, I’m not very good with boundary setting, because I don’t know how to stand up for myself without feeling guilty. But one boundary that should never be crossed with me, one limit that I place on every living thing, is to not prevent me from listening to Music. While I’m opiating myself from the trials and tribulations of life discovering Music is one of the only things that keeps me going. It is the only thing that makes being alive against my will worth it. Because, for all I know, some stupid social expectation and idiotic requirement for selflessness are doing f-all to keep me breathing. So, when you see Waleed walking, nodding and getting jiggy to Ruby’s “Leih Beydary Keda” and Mouhamed Mounir’s exquisite Oud in “Baateb Aliki,” and are thinking of bothering me when there is no need, think about what you are risking.