I remember strutting with a puffed chest into the music store. I’d have waited for that moment for typically a month, and would first feast myself on the treasures up for public viewing . I’d drive anyone who made the mistake of accompanying me completely bonkers, but then, the first hour wasn’t meant even to choose, let alone buy.

And boy, did I hold on to my treasure after that. I’d play everything once, after lingering on to what got me hooked in the first place. Then I’d go again, discover something that lit up a new cranial corner. And more, even more till I’d chewed that album into my mental stream of consciousness. Each time something played, an audio field crystallized and let each note fit snugly into an assigned place. I’d associate guitar licks with visits made and solo vocals with new entrants into the family. The Cranberries were no longer just an Irish band; they were packages of tightly bundled emotions triggered through the two ampere socket.

I ‘d often feel the same anticipation(and dewdrop freshness) wafting over me after some months( or years) when I’d happen to stub into a piece of that experience. At a friend’s place, flipping television channels, or just honking up the irritating jaywalker(what is the car next to me playing?). It was a juggle-fest; listening memories leaped back-and-forth from the left brain to the right. Action to reaction, intent to intuition. Until that point where I stopped listening and began feeling.

Sigh. That was when I used to pay for my music. With money, that is.

Now, of course, I don’t have to fret about experiencing that haunting (and teasing) riff I caught somewhere. I don’t need to sweat and grumble at the Neanderthals next door passing off as music store owners (Does that profession sound Kafkaesquely oxymoronic now?).

I blow the Google bugle. Unless , of course, I find it on youtube.

And I never listen to it again. Or associate it with my cousin’s new puppy. Or drive it into a classmate’s unwilling hippocampus.