On a sunny Tuesday afternoon in July of 2020, I had a moment like no other. I got into my car for what seemed like the first time in weeks. In fact, it was the first time I had driven in weeks. The day’s agenda was to drive from my quarantine home base, my man’s condo in the Hudson Valley, to meet up with an old friend at the Jersey shore. With the radio turned on and my music ADD in full swing, I began my usual routine of jumping from channel to channel to avoid garrulous DJs and political banter. As luck would have it, spotty reception and the latest antics of the president dominated the airwaves. I sighed and thought, “Of course, there is nothing good on.” Off went the radio.
As I no longer sported my unruly whiplash-inducing locks from just three weeks prior, I rolled down my windows. I had shaved my head. Or rather, my boyfriend had. In the spirit of the pandemic, I decided that a fresh start could come with a clean-shaved noggin. The wind’s kiss on my skin was a welcomed addition to my quiet and otherwise monotonous drive of stop and go traffic. It was then that I realized that underneath my mess of paddle board equipment and library books sat my cd binder. You know those booklets you would get from bar mitzvahs and sweet-sixteens in the nineties and early two-thousands? With my eyes on the road, I reached around blindly and got ahold of the coveted black book. Struggling to multitask, I one-handedly leafed through the sleeves and decided on a cd that I had long ago burned and titled “music to drive to.”
I turned the knob of the radio back on. With the cd about to be inserted into the player, I was startled by the beginning chords of a familiar song with the radio’s last attempt to charm me. “If you start me up-If you start me up-I'll never stop!” “Yassss!” I thought to myself. If there ever was a time to spell the word yes with an ‘a’ and add an obnoxious amount of extra s’s, that was the time.
Dear Mick Jagger, you significantly improved my mood while driving that day. And while you have been there at other times, your lyrics for those precious three minutes and thirty-three seconds bathed me in a feeling of hope.
-Written by Alli Chazen