Sometimes, a song is your happy place. The rhythm, flow, cadence and lyrics coalesce into a magic feather that tickles your soul and fits wings on each ventricle of your heart.
Sometimes, a song is your spirit’s skin. The wildness of your soul echoed in each swell of the drums, the buoyant twang of the strings mirroring your wandering spirit.
Sometimes, a song is your redemption. The right song will find you in the middle of the swirling storm of pain and rage, it will hold you and that would be enough.
Earl Klugh’s Calypso Getaway was a touchstone for you, a field of memories from the best times in your life- when you were a child. The tune made your spirit dance and burned buried pain that your tears would wash away. Most of all it reminded you of August of the year you were five, you were finally old enough to enjoy a month away from school and still young enough for a month to be several eternities. You heard the song enough times on Radio
You would find the song again in your uncle’s car as he drove to work while you tagged along.
“Uncle I have always loved this song!” you squealed when it came up on the CD he played in his car.
“That’s Earl Klugh,” he said as he reached for the case and passed it to you to look at.
You would come to love Jazz nearly as much as he did, in those rides from home to work with his favourite artistes spreading chunks of their souls through the car speakers, and during the weekend while he worked on corn cobs and his computer and in the evenings when he would play Bryan Adams CDs while you fell in love in Bryan again.
But it wasn’t just the music that bound you, you had loved him since you were born. There was an affinity for him that had begun in another life and it transited well into this one. When your father told you who you had been before you came to your mother and him, you knew it was true because it explained why your uncle had a copy of your mumu button and why you had his too.
But he was fierce, a man of fire and stormy temper- just like you, but you were twice as fierce. While your fire was slow and long, his was born of sparks that flew for miles and died in minutes. He would cause war with his tongue and break bread in the next hour. But you, forgiveness is not a word that sits easy on your tongue. It cannot be found in any corner of your heart. He went on offend you until even affinity evaporated, until the cord of reincarnation, frayed and snapped.
But you missed him even if you did not know it, you had told your father you wanted nothing to do with his relative anymore but he smiled and told you that blood would call your name and you would answer. You scoffed, your father did not know you well enough even after all the decades he had been known by the world as your father.
Sometimes a song is magic and the first step on the stairway to heaven. The scars of old sin and yesterday’s wrath washed away by the music that had your name embedded in each note.
Your phone’s music player selected Calypso Getaway as you walked through a quiet street in Mushin with your ear phones siting pretty in your ears, the strains of Earl Klugh’s guitar made you want to dance in the middle of the street but you knew you would be dragged to the left side of Yaba if you let your feet and body fly. As it always happened when you heard the song, you remembered your uncle and you remembered the messages you got on WhatsApp from him- a treatise on the origin of Easter and another about the resurrection of Jesus.
When did he join WhatsApp? You mused. He was very paranoid about social media and instant messaging, he only used emails because his work required it. You wondered what else had changed about him, and by the time the song ended, you tapped his name on your contacts and dialed his number.
“Happy Easter Uncle Barth,” you chirped when he picked the call.