We went to Grammy’s. She has a place down by the lake. We love Grammy’s. Sequin everything. Little copper dollar store statues. The good vintage barbie dolls. Grammy keeps those put up for special occasions though. Or if we behave. Everyone gets an elegant plastic little woman to have and to hold, and put back inside the Tupperware container soon as we’re done. Music is like carbon dioxide. We make it, but it is a slow kind of seductively suffocating poison, as well. In other words, music thrives best when it isn’t the only presence in the room. Not in a vacuum. Music is informed and refreshed by topics and content that are not in any way music. And yet, by the time an artist is through with it, the connection is undeniable.

Grammy has an insanely eclectic record collection. At least once a year we go there, shoes off by the door, playing them one after another, some of them so fresh, this has to be the first time they’re outside the cover. Grammy doesn’t always have time to listen to them all. Just knows how much we smile over shiny plastic. She stacks the ones that really pop on top of the pile. Grammy’s good like that. Not everyone has a Grammy who can pretend-listen to so much rap.

I do wonder sometimes if Grammy picks her music by the air someone was breathing, and not their creation, their poison. The carbon dioxide. Slowly filling the room. Making us all light headed and silly. Forgetting there are seriously billions of dollars sitting in Grammy’s living room listening to vinyl intravenously feed sound and poetry into the air. I love going to Grammys. I enjoy the music. I like the atmosphere there. I listen. I really do. I’m one of the few.

But nothing I ever heard at Grammy’s should have made someone a millionaire.

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