By Brett Essler
When I have the time, I love to walk. Sometimes I'll just wander for 50 or 60 blocks looking at buildings and people. Unlike a subway commute, where I want to shut the world out, I never listen to music on my walks — it's a time to let my mind wander. Because of my dedication to this project, I broke my rule today and listened to SuperHeavy in its entirety while strolling up Broadway.
Around 66th Street, it started to rain and I ducked under an awning for a few minutes. The realization is starting to hit me that with any art, good or bad, there is a thin line between familiarity and appreciation. The sitcom whose plots and characters you are intimate with, even though you hate it. The song you can hum along with, even though it's annoying. For the last week, I've been "jokingly" singing fragments of lyrics from this album around house. But is it really a joke or is it SuperHeavy Stockholm Syndrome?
Spooked, I decided to walk on in the drizzle, making mental notes, quickening my pace in time with the music. I hardly noticed when the rain picked up again and my shoes started to soak through.
I ran into the nearest subway station and hopped on the uptown train. As the doors close — all of us crammed in ass-to-elbow — Joss Stone belts out the lyric that defines this whole experience: "what the fuck is going on?"
I'm starting to worry.