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An open letter to the morning radio DJ on XPN.
**I initially shared this this morning on XPN’s Facebook page, but it’s still awaiting moderation. (Probably because I said “fuck” in the post, to preserve the authenticity of the moment). But in case it doesn’t get published here, at least I figured it was worth posting someplace in case someone else needed to find this song today, too.**
I woke up earlier than normal today without any issue. (Anyone who knows me well enough knows why that’s no small feat.) I got in the car earlier than I normally would and listened a while to my new audiobook, which is basically someone’s modern day personal account of their own “Walden” experience, essentially the thing I’ve been fantasizing for the past several years.
I hit a level of introspection listening to the book that I needed to turn it off to give me proper time to work through my thoughts and not totally tune out the rest of the narrator.
So I drove without the radio on for a bit and eventually that got boring so I clicked the radio back on. I had only been flipping through the stations a few moments until I came across XPN and heard you introing the Turn It Up/Turn It Down.
I admit I was getting a little impatient when you were describing it–I’m wary when a DJ seems like they’re overselling a song, especially if I end up not agreeing with their opinion (it affects the level of trust in our rather one-sided relationship).
And with the first few bars, I rolled my eyes. Trust definitely seemed dashed. But then just a few more seconds went by and the song opened up and something exploded inside me and I felt that rare feeling like I had found exactly the thing that had been missing to properly soundtrack this current moment in my life.
After you came back on and explained more about the video, I literally exclaimed “holy fuck,” (sorry, I know this is a family page) and proceeded to pull it up and watch it right then while crossing the Walt Whitman bridge. (I know that’s not safe, but sometimes you just gotta do.)
I proceeded to cry down the majority of 95.
My mom was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s the summer after I graduated college. I was 22. In the nearly 11 years since that death sentence got handed down, I have struggled with the simultaneous emotions that come from becoming an adult/caretaker and losing a parent. I have been credited with tremendous strength much to my complete and utter confusion, (I can’t believe that anyone can mistake this bewilderment and total uncertainty as anything remotely resembling strength).
It’s been a long time now, and the pain of my mother’s loss is familiar now; constant. It’s something that I usually barely notice anymore. But recently, those old feelings have been bubbling back up, and I’m left feeling lost and motherless all over again, just like it was brand new.
That video spoke to me, that song spoke to me, and even if XPN never plays it again, please know that I’m pretty sure you playing that today and me getting up early to hear it was fated. Thank you for helping me put the music to feelings I’ve been having for some time.