There was a time when my collection of records was virtually complete.
I was bursting with excitement that I could stand back, at last, and revel in a wall carpeted with all the records I had ever wanted.
I dreamt in frustration dreams mainly, where I would try to show off my collection to a pretty lady but the door was locked and, no matter what I did, I couldn't get it open.
The treasure was left unseen, the room that held my self worth was inaccessible. Levels.
So I was in my office, sticking one thing into another thing and making notes about it, or something like that,
when I got a text from a friend saying that 3 of the last 5 records I'd been needing were seen in "Dan's Discotopia" - some store I didn't actually frequent because it rarely had good
old stuff (it was principally for sampling records and other dance/hip hop shit).
My computer nearly fell off its desk as I bolted from my coffee-stained chair, whipped my jacket off a coat rack, and pelted for the store.
The Crowded House EP I'd wanted, the Sonic Youth acetate and, from my favorite band, the Ramones' live bootleg I'd craved were about to become mine and only mine.
I rapidly slowed to a stroll as I sensed I'd become visible through the shop door and blithely nudged it open,
sidled in and tried not to look wide-eyed as I scanned the place for the right rack in which to start the time honored finger dance of the record-hunter - a bit like a hand-based reproduction
of Roberto Benigni's clumsy and unwelcome, though admittedly memorable, reaction when he won an Oscar.
"Afternoon, sir," said the ultra-cool guy behind the counter, nose ring glistening in the overhead lighting.
"Hi, " I said, far too absorbed in zeroing in on the items I'd had on my list for 9 years or more. I finally gave in and asked for them, like a normal human being.
I clutched these things on the way home like they were my very own vinyl babies.
I almost danced into my record room and fired up the hi-fi intent on listening to these beauties once (AND ONCE ONLY).
The Crowded House one was disappointing (well, it was Crowded House) but the Ramones disc was awesome. It sounded nearly perfect, nothing like a live bootleg should be.
So it was on to the Sonic record and...the sleeve was empty. I said...The Sleeve Was Empty!!
I've never made that kind of distance in so little time in my life. I careened around the final corner and skidded to a stop at the door of the store.
It was then I notice that the window had a large red sign indicating that they were closing down permanently today.