I had a dream the other night, I know, another dream, set in the used CD shop in which I worked during college and the ever-productive, ensuing years of 'finding myself.' You know how you always find yourself dreaming with certain locations as a setting, because you can picture them exactly down to the last tile, vent, etc? That's how this was, but it was really amazing because it was years ago that I worked there. In this dream, I could have accurately conjured up any one of the usual cast of characters that would come into the shop in my day, not limited to, but including: DJ Chaos, Beatles Mark, Ultimate Warrior Jacket Guy, and Shy Poke. I could write a decent blog about any one of those goof balls, but the guy in this dream was funny in his own right, and he could have very well been a regular, had he existed outside the relm of my unconscious.
He was a chubby, Mexican-American, middle-aged man who was standing at the counter, to the left of the cash register, calling up a series of women on his bulky cell phone, and leaving on their voice mails a monotone delivery of an atrocious love poem, which he read from a hand-written, crinkled-up, piece of notebook paper. After the third time he launched into it I had to run into the back room before he could catch me laughing, and that's something I would really do when I worked there. God, I fucking miss that job.
Yes, maybe it was the freedom of not worrying about what profession it is I should have been doing, and the fact that it was really flipping easy, but quite honestly, I loved being a used CD jockey, and I was damn good at it.
I loved coming in the morning, flipping on the lights, coffee machine, etc, and doing all the things that gave me the sense of accomplishment of having opened up the shop for the day.
I loved, on some days, having no coworkers.
I loved, on some days, having no, or little to no, customers.
I loved being able to tell people who sang what and on what album. I think some people are annoyed by those kind of questions, but I lived for them, and I still do.
I loved my boss. I liked the guy so much that I wanted to do the best I could for him. Even though he was 40-something when I was 20-something, he was as much a friend as he was a boss. Hell, he went to my wedding. Sure my marriage crashed and burned after 8 months, but that had nothing to do with him. The guy even got me a doob once when I really needed one, and that's something I certainly don't get from my current boss.
I actually loved putting out CD's into the racks. I know a lot about rock music, but for every band I know a lot about, there another twelve that I know only by the stacks of names that I came across when I put discs away. To this day, when I can't think of a band's name, I can think of where they were at The Shop and narrow it down, like from P to Z for instance.
I loved that job, and it's a sad realization when a dream reminds me that the best job I ever had, and may ever have, only paid 9 bucks an hour, and that in all likelihood CD shops will be a thing of the past before long. Well, at least the chubby Don Juan cell phone-mack daddy gave me a good chuckle. I was really laughing when I got up, and then my laugh settled into a grin thinking about the days and nights I spent buying and selling shitty discs like Four Non Blondes and Candlebox.