30DSC-3: A Song That Makes You Happy

(yes, hello, here I am again, the time, she flies, the blog, she lays fallow...)

A song that makes me happy? There's lots of those. I even made a mix once upon a time called "The Happymaking Mix," but I'm not sure I can remember what's on it. I may be able to find it somewhere, but I may not - in an episode that did not make me happy, my car was broken into and things were stolen, mixtapes among them.

This was years ago, when I was on my way to Boston from Denver via New Orleans. I was visiting a friend and parking was an issue - I found a place where I could legally (and for free, except not really, in the end) leave my car for a few days. I checked on it regularly and made merry, listening to live jazz and planning alternate life paths: a job building floats at Mardi Gras world and living a short ferry ride across the Ol' Miss in a sleepy, beautiful historic district....I still wish I had stayed, sometimes.

But then I checked on my car and found the window broken! The horror! See, everything I owned at this point was in my car. My whole material life. A nice yellow chair (which we still have and love) and several bags of clothes and miscellany. I lost my favorite hiking pack which traveled across Europe and a handful of mountains with me, a Gregory pack which they no longer made. Every time I take the new one out, I lament this loss. I lost all the clothes inside of that pack, nothing I can specifically remember except that now and again I wonder why I can't find a certain hat or shirt and then realize they were in that bag. And a case full of tapes, mostly mixtapes, completely irreplaceable. None of that stuff was worth much except to me - ain't that always the way?

I called it in, with low expectations of the N.O. P.D., who lived up to their name. Insult to injury? I got a parking ticket (in a different spot, one with a broken digital meter that didn't display how much time remained) the morning I left town. You can imagine how I took that - in pieces, with swearing and stomping calmed only by a last beignet from the Cafe du Monde. Oh, but they weren't done with me - they tracked me down, in a new state that didn't match my driver's license or car info (still registered in CO). I wrote them back, explaining the whole thing, down to the broken meter, very politely. They sent a new bill, doubled. I wrote again, less politely. They sent a new bill, doubled again, with threats of a collection agency. I swore a whole bunch more and wrote them a damn check.

And I still love New Orleans, and long for the life I might have had, though I've never been back.

Um. So. A song that makes me happy? Let's go with "Life Is Beautiful" by Keb Mo, because I heard it at the end of a movie last night and it moved me in a way no song has done for a long time. Possibly because most of what I listen to these days is aimed at the under-2 crowd. To be fair, many of those are songs that make me happy. How can you not be happy about tap-dancing rhinoceri?

But I'll stick with the Keb Mo for my answer. Let's go dancing on the juke-joint floor...