The Road Album

On the cold drive home after a 13-hour shift, it occurred to me that so much of the music I listen to has been carried along with my life for 20+ years. The Bon Jovi album I had on in the car was purchased in 1995…

I listened to it in the little tin flat that was attached to my parent’s farmhouse – where the Axminster carpet dated from the 1930s and the summer sunshine would bake us like potatoes in the campfire.

I took it to my first house/project/money-pit down south – where I lived in an old Police station with my ex, with the constant traffic noise, fighting a seemingly endless battle against the linoleum and asphalt that surrounded me. But I brought in ixias and sparaxis bulbs and grew them through the asphalt and they were the only things that made my life tolerable.

After we split, I carried the album to my dreary, cinderblock unit in Morrinsville – where the neighbours were meth dealers and Iraqi refugees, and where the concrete walls contained all the pain of my abusive boyfriend… until I lived like a hermit, with panic attacks and a huge knife under my pillow. I bought a bonsai tree. I needed to stay inside.

I took that album to Hamilton (twice). First to the cold, Lockwood unit with the terrible landlords and the terrible job. I had my cats and (later) Rob. I had my roses, and lilies until the landlords killed them.

Then to our house on the farm, with the big blank-canvas yard, where I painted with vast swathes of flowers and trees, and (later) buried all four of my cats in their favourite spots in the garden.

… And now it’s still here with me. In the 1950s house with the tiny yard (back with a terrible landlord) that we ran to out of convenience and desperation…

Soon I’ll carry it away to some other place. Our own place… Finally our own place…



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