I dreamed last night that I was writing an essay about my husband's record collection. When I woke up, I was relieved to discover that I was not. Tom has a thousand or so records, plus several hundred CDs, all alphabetized by first name (e.g., Bob Dylan before Bob Marley), and he is tyrannically opinionated on the merits of good versus bad, in the way that only non-musician stereophiles can be.
Writing about his collection? Oh my God: what a torture. So now that I'm awake and have reassured myself that I am not composing an essay about the merits of Tom's ska collection versus his Captain Beefheart collection versus his California tiny punk bad collection versus his African gospel collection versus his hatred of the Beatles (though of course he has all of the albums and has listened to them thoroughly) versus his junior high mistakes collection (e.g., Boston's Greatest Hits) versus his Bessie Smith collection, versus his giant selection of 78s (which he purchased before he owned a turntable that could play 78s, so he would stand next to it and spin it manually with his finger to replicate the speed), versus his Merle Haggard collection, versus his New York Dolls collection, versus his Stereolab collection, versus his Thirteenth Floor Elevators collection with that wretched electric jug whimpering behind every single song, etcetera, etcetera, through a hundred other overlapping subgenres . . . so now that I'm not writing about any of them, the idea of picking hair out of the bathroom drain and hand-washing a load of sawdust-laden Pendleton wool shirts seems like a more or less fine way to spend a Sunday.