This post is dedicated to all the musicians out there who make music and share it with the world – the famous and the not so famous. Thank you.
The other day I took Suegra on an errand. As is my habit, I started the ignition, put on my seat belt, pressed play on the CD player, turned the volume up, and then checked my mirrors before backing out of the driveway.
Lately I’ve been playing the hell out of my Pitbull CD. I can’t play it around the niños but Suegra doesn’t catch the dirty lyrics. She did say once that she doesn’t like the Pitbull CD, but my car, my rules. (Sometimes I joke with Carlos when he changes the stations on me, “Don’t you ever touch a white girl’s radio, boy!”) [Rush Hour reference - warning: strong language in video] …
Suegra knows better than to complain too much though since I don’t like taking her on errands in the first place. Besides, I’ve caught her out of the corner of my eye tapping her fingers to the beat.
This particular day we’re driving along – a gringa and an elderly Salvadoran woman, with Pitbull blasting from the speakers. The sun is shining, I put on my sunglasses, roll the window down a little. Despite being on an errand with my mother-in-law, I’m feeling good. I’m smiling, moving to the beat, sauvecito – just a little – not so much that I look like a loca – happy to be alive and thankful for what I’ve got.
Suegra breaks my trance, yelling to be heard over the music, “Tracy, ya no tomas las pastillas para la tristeza, vá?”
I tell her that no, I haven’t taken medicine for depression for several years now.
Suegra nods, is quiet for a moment. We stop at a red light.
“La música…te ayuda, ¿verdad?” she lifts her chin in the direction of the radio.
Now it’s me who is quiet. I’ve never known Suegra to be especially insightful so I’m shocked into silence by the realization that she understands something so deeply personal about me without me having ever breathed a word of it aloud.
The music…it helps you.
Yes – I answer her. The music helps me.