The Impenetrable Wisdom of Al Marcy
But I just can't seem to stay asleep. Me and sleep don't get along very well. We touch but never hold. I'm convinced that I'm simply "a light sleeper," the various sounds of Jersey City nightsymphonies of smashed beer bottles, choruses of high school children, sirens of all sortsrising up from the tireless street below and invading my precious rest. My body's just not getting the REM-sleep it so desperately needs. I almost never dream.
Funny thing: I think there's some part of me that enjoys not sleeping. In being awake, I can more fully appreciate how wonderful it is to be in bed: I'm asleep. I begin to wake. I slowly come to realize that I'm not entirely asleep. I become aware of all the comfort that, while asleep, I had been taking for granted. O, sweet bed. O, dear pillows. O, gentle sheets!
This is serious. Next thing I know it's time to go to work.
Anyway, this all came to mind last night, as music played. You wanna know why? Because I wasn't really listening to the music. I was actually listening TO THE GEAR! Ladies and gentlemen, I couldn't frigging believe it. I caught myself, on the edge of my seat, poor audiophile posture and allhands folded, neck outstretched, eyes closed, ears pointed.
"Wow, that sounds good," I thought. "What good sounds!"
And, then, I snapped out of it. What sounds good, good sounds what? I was paying attention to the lonesome sound of Tom Brosseau's beautiful voice. There's a fine line between enjoying the music and enjoying the gear, and, last night, I was dancing all over it. I am ashamed to say.
But the experience provided this realization: Like being in bed, suffering from restlessness, enjoying the comfort of soft pillows and sheets (rather than actually sleeping), I sat at the edge of my couch, suffering from something else, enjoying the sound of components (rather than actually listening to music). Something is wrong. Something is in the way.
As I write this, I'm wondering if it has something to do with the electronics; I recently switched from the Exposure amp and CD player, which had been in the system for quite awhile, to the Musical Fidelity amp and CD player. And I recall thinking that, in comparison to other gear, specifically the Ayre equipment, the Musical Fidelity stuff had, what seemed to me to be, a more exciting sound. Perhaps the thing is that, with the Musical Fidelity gear, while I'm more likely to listen to sounds and stuff, I also tend to lose my grip on the music. I don't remember this happening with the Exposure equipment.
Mind you, I don't know for sure. I'm just saying. Either way, I still can't sleep. What I need to do is listen to what Al Marcy has been telling me for the last two years, and: Relax!