For years, I've kept a record of the mixed CDs I've made on a public Web site. My first entry is 2002. The CD was for the first girl I ever kissed.
The Web site has been having problems lately, so I've been going back, looking at my old mixes just in case this is my last time to savor these time capsules. I've found plenty of funny things -- mixes with Tool and No Doubt and did I really put a Magnetic Fields song on EVERY SINGLE mix? -- but the thing that has warmed my heart the most is this little treasure from 2004:
I had gone fully gay by then, but when a certain boy's best friend told me he wanted to go on a date with me, I was intrigued. He was so cute (dimpled, almost girlishly skinny and in love with Joan Jett and girl rock) that I thought maybe I'd try. But dates with a lesbian don't come easy for boys, so I made him a mixed CD with a map.
That is, at the beginning of the CD I recorded the tones for my phone number. If he could figure out my number based on sound, we could hang out. It took hours, he said, by the audible light of a computer program, but a day or so later, my phone rang. It was him.
We dated for a few months, though kissed sparsely. We made t-shirts from Camp Fire Girl books and ate cheap Chinese food relentlessly. Once, we dressed up in our finest clothes (I wore a wig!), headed to the grocery store and told everyone we were going to the Postman's ball.
We had one very sad break-up and one break-up that wasn't a break-up at all, but rather a slow understanding that what we were, sadly, was very close friends.
He remains in my top favorites of all people.
[on the map the gap's three fingers, but it's more than that]