Just as you think that fourteen years of relationship has led you to that point where the original excitement has settled into routine, your husband buys two turntables and you remember what was insanely cool about him in the first place. You remember that even though you were both surviving on virtual shoestrings, the guy could mix music into a cocktail that made you thirsty for more. You remember that although there was barely enough room, in fact, not enough room for a desk, a cupboard, a bed and a chair, there were still two turntables, and in even in cramped conditions, music flew free around the room and out of the windows. You remember, as you now dance with Ziya while her daddy throws tunes and you watch her make her first, totally two year old scratch, that CDs were once scratched, filtered, remixed and pitched in DJ sessions played just for you.
You thought it was the toasted cheese sandwiches brought to you at midnight during those tough years of working full-time while finishing a PhD or maybe the Monday morning mix tapes sitting by your keys and ready to turn up as you turned on the car or maybe just some one-on-one connection that felt calm and safe, but really it was the two turntables, because now that they are back, you realize you only married the guy to get the DJ, put him in house and have him for yourself.
With fourteen years of hindsight, you look at your life now and wonder if that was shallow or youthful or such a typically girl thing to do, and despite age, maturity and present lack of a social life you still understand why all good DJs – even bad ones – have groupies. You had it bad for a boy with two Pioneer turntables, and you wonder if it was him or them, or both, that made you fall in love.
You sit looking at those two Pioneers with their blinking lights on either side of the mixer, while Ziya’s daddy puts her to sleep in the next room, and you think that all those books about keeping romance alive in marriages and all those TEDx talks about the psychology of long-term love really miss the main point. It’s not so much about planning dates or remembering to communicate or making sure not to take the other for granted, it’s really just about finding that one thing that you knew and then forgot did it for you. That thing that might have gotten lost amidst work and bills and mortgages and traffic and tiredness. That thing you wanted to take home, turn on, rock out to, feel young with and love.
I remember now. It was a DJ, two turntables and music sets so smooth that, like the songs, everything seemed to happen right on cue, one year seamlessly blending, in pitch, bpm and key, with the next. Funny how two turntables that took you back fourteen years could do what no conversation and mutual effort was now going to do. I guess there is that one thing in every relationship. Imagine when you see it spinning in front of you.