Monday, July 11, 2016

Music to My Ears

"On that jaw-dropping night, even the usual stolid and conservative energy that normally permeated our living room whenever the television was on was no match for The Beatles. We all sat there stunned. My mother and grandmother, slowly shaking their heads in a silent disapproval of what they were beholding; my sister, simply happy to be there at all, bobbing her head to the music. Me? I was completely blown away, like Moses being handed the Ten Commandments by a transcendent... entity. . . . Each song that night shot through my veins with a jolt. First, I watched as "All My Loving" wrapped its words around the hearts of every girl in the audience and I wordlessly joined them in their screaming. Next, the lover's serenade, "Till There Was You," made romance suddenly palatable to by budding, confused teenage self. The final song in the first set was "She Love You," and that brought down the house. Even with a commercial break and the rest of Ed Sullivan's guests, I barely recovered by the time the second set commenced. When "I Saw Her Standing There," burst forth, I had to control myself from leaping to my feet and dancing up the walls and across the ceiling of my living room. When The Beatles signed off with "I Want to Hold Your Hand," I was smitten beyond belief.

 "As I looked around at the faces of my family members, I knew in that moment I wasn't really a part of them. I felt like my world had just been shattered open while their world had slammed shut as a result of their shock and rejection of what we had all witnessed. Beyond explanation and beyond my conscious awareness it felt like a path, vibrating with colorful paisley, had suddenly diverged from the drab and sepia road being offered by my family's values" ("The Rail," Chapter 13, 'Music to My Ears").

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