My Neighbour’s Music

There is someone on my street who has excellent taste in music. I don’t recognize half the songs playing, but all of them are evocative, sentimental, and oddly cheerful, reminding me of the type of songs a person would listen to in the olden days, or when looking back on life, or while in the middle of living a very colourful life, or because he knows a great deal about life, or because he just really like dancing or staring into space. 

I don’t like talking about music because I never feel like I am qualified enough to comment on it. I hate when people ask me what type of music I listen to because I either don’t know what to say, or worry that whatever I do say will sound dumb, or I am embarassed to admit that I like what I like. 

Sometimes, I look at people and assume that they have cool taste in music, and that they must know a lot of things, and that they have probably lived a lot. If they told me a song was good, I would probably believe it. Sometimes, it is a good thing that I believe people so easily; sometimes, it just hurts. 

The problem is that I am very good at trusting the opinions of other people and not very good at trusting my own. That is to say, I am better than I used to be but not yet where I need to be. I would like to be the type of person who announces, loud and proud, the music I like to listen to without feeling shy or ashamed. I would like to listen to music in my bedroom, and have it pleasantly drift out the window one fine evening, without worrying that the neighbours will judge me for having bad taste. 

When I was in Venice, this guy gave me a CD because I told him I liked the songs we listened to. I cherished those songs. Knowing them made me feel better about myself. I ask my friends to make me playlists. I am very comfortable with letting people I just met choose the music we listen to at parties or in the car. I would rather listen to other people’s favourite songs than show them mine. 

If I have any good taste music, it’s because other people showed me those songs and not because I discovered them on my own. That is what I tell myself anyway. Maybe it’s not true. Or maybe it is and everybody develops good taste because of the songs other people showed them. 

It’s almost 11pm and the music from my neighbour’s window is still playing joyfully, unabashedly, without restraint. That is the kind of confidence I would like to be one day. A bright tune, uninhibited and somewhat wild, singing my song without caring about whether other people will like me or not.

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