Musical pathways

There’s something strange with my mind. For years I’ve thought this is purely a fabrication, a coincidence. But it happened again just now, so it’s time to think about it as possibly real.

I was listening to an album, Wode’s eponymous 2016 release, and had to hit pause to take Lily for a walk and check the laundry. I have no idea what I was thinking about during that time—probably inner debates on the mountain bike I want to get—but when I got back in I settled down to my computer. In my head I was aware that I was thinking about a song. It was playing the way something would play in the car, or on one’s phone. It was simply there, a specific song at a specific point.

And when I launched iTunes on my Mac the song—that very song—picked up at precisely the point at which it was playing in my head. It’s as if something in me memorized where it left of and paused, the way one used to pause a cassette tape.

This has happened more times than I can remember. I don’t know what this says about my short-term memory and its capacity for music. But it reminds me of a related phenomenon. When I sleep, whether it’s the state of falling asleep or preparing to wake up, there is always music running through my head, in (what I can only assume) is near-perfect fidelity to the recording. Sometimes the song is pleasant, often it is not. There are many times, especially when I’m trying to fall asleep, that I try to force my mind to play a different song, but it never works.

I would love to know if there are other people for whom this is true. I can only hope that there are.

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