She listens to jazz when she wants to feel smoothly in control. She enjoys the idea of silky voices and rhythmic tunes playing in the background while she goes through life with a light heart and half-smile. With that soundtrack, she could be confident, cool-headed, and always one step ahead of everyone else – the secret agent who can carry a movie.
And sometimes it works, these musings into a fantastical life – sometimes she’ll play the jazz music and have a ball at Trader Joe’s pretending it’s all part of some secret mission, with the clue hidden amongst the apples! Each passing young man is a rival agent or contact. Sometimes her musings can be fun. But mostly they just make real life all the more gray.
The catch point is that she’s not the slick secret agent type, and never will be. Try as she might, she can’t become as cool and collected and rational that’s required of such a character. She’s an emotional thinker, and it bitterly disappoints her. Why can’t she be the kind of person who can read a room and is never surprised by anything? Someone with people skills and quick reflexes needed for undercover operations at cocktail parties? Not that she’s ever been to a real cocktail party.
Life without the soundtracks and imaginings is as boring as boring could be, and it makes her more and more bitter. At herself, mostly, but also other people and the world at large. Whenever she realizes she’s been in a reverie for 10 minutes at work, she kicks herself for being such a dreamer, but also stews at the never-ending emails that demand to be answered.
She knows she can’t suddenly transform into any of the characters swimming around in her head, nor can she morph her physical surroundings into the fantastic scenes that adorn the walls of her mind. So she puts on jazz music. But only if she’s playing a secret agent that day. If she fancies playing a zombie-fighting warrior, then she turns to dark scores and expressive rock music.
It’s hard to articulate all of the music and stories in her head, so she usually stays mum when meeting people, imagining quirky songs playing in the background that would surely describe the awkwardness of it all.
And then, of course, there is the endless piano music for when she is melancholy. There are some days where she drifts about her business in a stupor, with only the keys and lonely melodies to turn to. Somehow, they are the only ways she’s ever heard her depression expressed. Sometimes that makes her sad, sometimes happy. The worst days are when she feels nothing at all.