SOURCE: Shahin, Jim. “Takings and Leavings.” American Way. March 1, 2003.
KEYWORDS: silence, noise,
Was I upset when my car stereo was stolen? I suppose you could say so…At first, I blamed the victim, i.e., me. Around here, we park on the street and I hadn’t locked my doors…But then I rationalized that not locking my doors was a good thing. If they want your radio, ready or not, here they’ll come. At least my windows were intact…Later, as I drove around town, it occurred to me that maybe the vandal did me a favor.
I hate the radio.
I obsessively search the dial for something to listen to. There’s Britany and classic rock…and “soft rock” and plodding anger-drenched heavy metal and insipid pop country and easy listening (which is anything but) and watered-down hip-hop and morning deejays who mistake obnoxiousness for humor. There are apoplectic talk-radio political commentators who might blow a synapse right through your dashboard. There are fund drives and commercials and hucksters of every stripe.
Considering I would no longer be subjecting myself to any of that, the theft was actually a sort of liberation…So, in a way, I should actually thank the thief. In my car-cocooned solitude, not having the distraction of all that noise would give me the opportunity to listen to my own thoughts. The problem is, I discovered after only a few short trips around town, that I don’t have any thoughts.