My husband doesn’t like to talk about music. He’ll keep John Coltrane a secret. He’ll tell you he has never heard of that Leonard Cohen song. And if you insist on Johnny Cash, he’ll just gently and very politely close the door. You will never hear him make a comment about music or God. He won’t trash Lady Gaga in public like I do. He will not praise Miles Davis in the presence of people. He thinks people sometimes get wrapped up in their opinions about music and as a result, the music itself gets lost.
Our music taste also differs. My music taste is eclectic. His taste doesn’t have a label. Don’t get me wrong, my husband loves music, but his love is private. When he came to this country four years ago, he brought 7 books, 3 music CDs, 10 music cassettes, and some clothes in a suitcase. He placed his books in the bookshelf. He placed his clothes in the closet with mine, but he stashed away his music in a box. He tells me I’m always welcome to listen to his music, but sadly, I don’t like some of his music.
When I go on and on about music, he listens to me patiently. He loves that I’m passionate about music. In fact, he supported my love of music by buying me an ipod for my birthday. He taught me how to download music (legally) from the internet. He even bought me a kick ass set of headphones. He is tolerant with me on weekends when I play a Nina Simone song and then immediately after that, some Jarocho music.
Since we don’t share the same taste in music, I’m slowly collecting musical stories of our life together. My husband does not like to listen to music with other people, not even with me, but many years ago, we listened to Lhasa de Sela together. Not even John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme has managed to achieve this gathering. I think it was Lhasa’s voice that brought our music taste together. And one day when I was stuck in dark woods of my depression, I asked my husband to sing one of his favorite songs:
(cuentame otra vez cuantas sirenitas se llevarón a Alfonsina)
Cinco sirenitas te llevarán
Por caminos de alga y de coral
Caballos marinos harán
Una ronda a tu lado
Y los habitantes
Del agua van a jugar
Pronto a tu lado.
My husband and I are a couple without a love song or any other song. We will never say:
Honey! They’re playing our song!
At our tiny wedding, there was no Moondance. There was no Casiopea.
In this collection of musical memories of our life together, I’m discovering silent songs. Today, when my husband rode his bike to the beach, he came back with a white little rock. He placed the rock on my hand and told me:
Mira lo que te traje.
We share silent music.
(On June 17, 2010 my husband and I will attend our first "official" music concert together. The musician we are going to hear had difficulty getting a visa to perform in the U.S. He is from Cuba).