Conspiracy Theory

19 04 2007

Or, Reason Number 41 Why I Should Be Committed

I spent the entire 8 hour+ flight from Dallas to Oahu with my iPod on. Not sleeping. Not even resting my eyes. And like a fighter, it hung on. I recharged it at the hotel and it was good to go the rest of the week, faithfully busting out some Sexy Back while I walked/danced down to the pool, and loyally relaxing me with the sounds of Corinne Bailey Rae while I lay next to the pool.

Another recharge before leaving and it got me through the return flight (which, THANK GOD, because if I’d had to listen to the group of 15-year-olds on their first field trip without any chaperones who were related to them (because if it’s your or someone else’s mother, then forget about it; but if it’s just a couple of Big Brothers and Sisters types, or even better, the student teacher, then heeeey, party in Room 232, BYOB! Chaperones invited!), even the promise of seeing my son once safely landed in DC wouldn’t have been enough to get me through it), too. What a champ.

Yet, a few days after I got home, it all went downhill. Here I was, dutifully trying to get back into a routine and go for my daily walk with the kid. Phone? Check. Keys? Check. Camera? (You never know when you’ll happen upon Sasquatch, and Lord knows not a soul would believe ME without photographic evidence.) Check. Water, sippy cup, sunglasses, hat, sunblock, extra blanket, snack, pedometer (trailer to pull all this crap along behind us…)? Check check check. iPod? Check. Oh, and I even made sure to charge it the night before.

I’m about to set off on my three miles of fun when I turn the thing on and… nothing. Well, that’s weird. I know I charged it. Hm. Maybe I’m doing it wrong? You turn the little button this way… Nope. Nothing. I conclude that it just worked really really hard while on vacation, and I just need to give it some time to rest, and, you know, get used to the time change. Then I proceed to have a considerably less enjoyable walk because, man, it’s just nice to be able to drown out Ethan’s “I am ready to not be in this stroller anymore, Mother!” cries with JT’s “I’ve got sexy ladies…” cries.


Baby rocks the iPod.


That night I informed Jeff of my iPod’s illness and asked him to look into it. Which, of course, he did not. For the next few walks I was forced to revert back to Jeff’s old, unloved, gone-the-way-of-the-big-bulky-compact-disc mp3 player, that holds a mere 128mg (that’s like, one and a half cd’s worth of music, people). I politely reminded him about a week later that he needed to have a look at my iPod. I’m not sure if he did or not, but later that night he told me that instead of charging it that last time, what I probably did was erase all the music on it. Because, you know, I’m a moron. Riiight. I said, whatever, ok, then can you just please put it all back on then? Help a moronic wife out?

He finally got around to it (me standing next to him bugging him and refusing to leave him alone helped greatly) and informed me that he’d checked, and the music was, in fact, still there. He handed it to me and ordered me to listen, because there was music on it and it was fully charged. I placed (SHOVED AND MANGLED AND MANIPULATED- do these things comfortably fit ANYONE?) the earbuds in my ears and… Nothing. “Nothing,” I said to Jeff. “Keep listening,” he ordered. (Good with the ordering, that one.)

“I hear something!” And that is when things started to get weird.

Did I hear music? No. I heard… how to put this? I heard the sounds of living. A cough. A clearing of the throat. Some muffled silence. Breathing. Lots of breathing. Followed by more muffled silence.

At this point, convinced that my iPod did indeed have an illness (an illness called Possessed By The Devil Himself), I ripped the earbuds from my ears and refused to listen anymore, lest the Devil’s awful breathing… and… coughing… and evil, evil sniffles infect my mind. I made Jeff listen.

He listened for a good 10 minutes. I thought, did my iPod, instead of playing me tunes one walk, record me? How is this possible? Are the machines finally taking over? Throroughly freaked out now, I left and went to the bathroom. Came back. He was still listening. Then: “You have to hear this!” I told him I wasn’t going to fall for the temptations of the devil. He rolled his eyes and told me to shut up and listen. I did. I heard a girl laugh. It may have been a giggle. I think I heard a baby coo, too. But that could have been part of the giggle.

And then, ding! Light bulb. I recognized that laugh. It was the exact same laugh that our neighbor, the teenage mother, has. Not that I’ve ever actually heard her laugh in person… I should explain:

We live in a building of four apartments, two downstairs and two up. We live in an upstairs one, the upstairs one across from us having gone vacant soon after we moved in. One Saturday after we put Ethan down for his nap, we turned on the baby monitor and were surprised when we heard Ethan, using big words! speaking in full sentences! to a woman! to a woman? What? This was not Ethan.

We listened to the couple’s conversation for a little bit (oh, like you wouldn’t), and learned that they were looking to buy a car. That they were new to the area. That they loved each other (ok, I did feel guilty listening to that part- it was a private moment, blah blah blah, and now I think twice every time I say something because, hello? Who’s there? There could be someone there, listening…). And that they had a baby, as evidenced by its wailing.

We wondered, how could we be picking up someone else’s baby monitor? No one else in our building has babies, or even little children. And we’re too far away from any other buildings to be getting it from somewhere else… Bizarre. And then… knock knock knock.

Oh, crap. Of all the things I’ve done in my life… that time I skipped school… that time I spray painted my name (backwards- hey, I’m no fool) on an underpass… that time I stole a jawbreaker from my brother… and THIS is what I’m finally gonna get caught and sent to the slammer for? Tell my son I love him and that his mama was a good person, really, and that he should always brush his teeth before bed and to work extra hard at math because we tend to be inherently good with grammar, but not so much with the adding and subtracting, and ohnoIcan’tgotojailI’mtoofragile!

We turned off the monitor and answered the door. It’s some guy, we’ve never seen him before, but he is most definitely NOT the police. Too skinny. Too lacking in the uniform department. Too… young. What was he, 17? No older than 18. He introduced himself (I STILL could not tell you his name if I wanted to, for some reason it just won’t stick) as our new neighbor. The other upstairs apartment right across from us. Wanted to borrow a pen, they (himself, his wife and infant daughter) just moved in and didn’t have anything. Literally. Not even a pen. And he needed to write down the address/directions of a dealership so he could go buy a car.

I have, on occasion since then, turned our monitor on to the sounds of not-Ethan, but I have always switched it right off. I fear prison. I like living life as a free person. But I have never forgotten the sound of her, our teenaged-mother-neighbor’s, laugh. And when I heard the sound of her laughing in my head, through my painful earbuds, via my demonic iPod, I was quite sure that I was losing my mind. Or that my iPod was in need of an exorcism. Because HOW IN THE WORLD DID THE SOUNDS OF MY NEIGHBOR LAUGHING AND SIGHING AND BREATHING INFILTRATE MY IPOD?

While Jeff went to research this bizarro twilighty phenomenon on the Internet, I sat down and felt dumb. My mind could not come up with a single reasonable explanation. Was I going crazy? OR… was someone trying to make me think I was going crazy? Setting up all kinds of insane mind tricks so that they could indirectly push me over the edge without having to physically push me? (We’d just watched Mini’s First Time. Interesting movie, lots of big name actors, I recommend it.)

I was all ready to fill Jeff in on my conspiracy theory when he started laughing. “Your music IS on here,” he said. “Justin Timberlake, The Fray, Corrine Bailey Rae, OK Go… especially OK Go… all on here.” A Google search enlightened us:

“‘9027 KM’, which is not listed on the album sleeve, is a 35-minute track of singer Damian Kulash’s girlfriend sleeping, included on the US version of the album. He says there is good reason for it, but as of now, fans do not know why, except for a discovery by sherib on the official OK GO forums, which showed that the distance between Los Angeles, California and Malmö, Sweden was 9027 Kilometers (KM).”

That “good reason”? Clearly, it is to make otherwise sane people think THEY ARE LOSING TOUCH WITH REALITY AND THAT SOMEONE IS OUT TO GET THEM.

He so got me.

So, turns out, my music was never gone. It was always there, just waiting for me to hear it. My iPod was never sick or possessed. Trusty little things, those iPods. Now, the baby monitors, on the other hand… they’re the ones you gotta watch out for…




4 responses

20 04 2007

Wow! That really would have freaked me out, too! Glad Jeff figured out the wackiness…..

It’s fun seeing pictures of Ethan on here =o)

20 04 2007

Yeah, that’s why I keep Jeff around, he’s good with wacky 🙂

As for the pictures of Ethan, that was why I (we, actually) started the blog in the first place, since all our family is so far away and missing out on so much of Ethan’s life. I’m glad you are enjoying them!

23 04 2007

If you have Mysterious iPod Problems in the future, you might try this site from Apple:
Resetting your iPod is non-destructive for your music, although you could conceivably lose settings. I’ve had to do this occasionally when my iPod forgets that it has a menu button.

17 05 2007
I'm hungry « Sublime Bedlam

[…] neighbors, whom I’ve mentioned before, just came by to ask if I wouldn’t mind babysitting their 6-month-old daughter […]

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