I remember the last time I went into a record shop. The store was very small, the aisles tight and records filled the shelves. The owner had short, chunky white hair and thick rimmed glasses, and could most likely step right onto a record cover and fit the part. He asked us if we were looking for anything in particular and, at the time we weren’t sure – just on a search to build our record collection. As I flipped through the $5 section, my husband and I found ourselves in a conversation with him about the history of records, their unique sound, and finally – what we were really looking for. The Cramps album. Any album of theirs, really.
The owners eyes lit up, and he slid his way around the sharp edges to unfold a Cramps album – “Bad Music for Bad People” – fully sealed in plastic, the bright yellow beaming in the fluorescent lights above. This is what my husband really wanted. We had just gotten a record player, a gift for me on my birthday in February. A birthday that included a couple days in Laguna Beach, having our auras read and another magical stop at a record shop. Another place and another face for another story…
But for $35 – was it worth it? After looking on Amazon, most of the decent records cost at least $20. Same in stores. The REALLY good ones, though – went up in price. Like this Cramps record. But we loved the Cramps so much, that this was an easy sell. And we walked away with not just a great record, but a cool conversation, too. We went home and threw on the vinyl, hearing the confirmation of our purchase, and our experience.
Now, this experience has become a temporary past time. Many doors have been closed due to COVID-19 in California and beyond. As much of an illness that the actual virus causes, it has also been an illness to society and the human nature of needing social contact. Our doors are closed to all but immediate family, and some are even on their own. The doors to certain experiences are locked down, with nowhere to go.
But in many ways, this door to nowhere is just a new opportunity for different experiences. Open the door and look inward on yourself and what you have around you. Whether it’s people, spaces or things, there is always something to be grateful for. The material necessities have become narrowed and health, family and connection have become more important than ever. Our phones and computers are virtual doorways to the world. So even for the doors that are locked now, it’s important to remind ourselves that this is only temporary. The doors will open again and we, as a collective, will have somewhere to go.