I listen to music all of the time. My headphones are like a protective cloak around me. I am extremely sensitive to light and sound. When the world is buzzing with activity my headphones provide me with somewhere to hide. Without them I would be unable to function in the open plan environment of the building where I work. The music helps me to concentrate, it allows me to filter out the stimuli that would otherwise overwhelm my senses.
It was my Sister’s birthday this past weekend and as it was a special birthday, she had organised a party for family and friends. Let me be clear, I don’t do nightclubs or concerts, they are not a good place for me to be. I know that a lot of folks enjoy being shut in a room full of people, with super loud music and flashing lights, but quite honestly I can imagine few things worse… being trapped on a plane full of Moomins maybe. Nevertheless, as it was both my Sister’s birthday party and the actual day of my bro’s birthday (and he and his wife had travelled many hours to see me), I made the effort to attend.
I knew I was in for a tough night when the first note was played on the bass and a light fell off the ceiling. When a second light fell down a few notes later I realised just how tough it was going to be. All I could think of was the scene near the beginning of Back to the Future, “You’re just too darn loud.” . (Back to the Future combined with wrestling!? FYR!)
There were seats in the hall, some right up near the stage and some right at the back. My friends and I sat at the back and I pretty much stayed there for the duration of the evening. I made an effort to say hello to the people who were there when I arrived and also to get up and say hello to people who arrived afterwards, but for the majority of the time my ass was nailed to that sofa. I know it must sound weird to people who don’t have such sensitive senses, but it felt like a full on assault that lasted for some four or five hours. I became overwhelmed very quickly and it was a real battle to stick it out until Fake Elvis had finished his performance*.
At one point I had to go up to the tables right by the front, I forget why, I got about half way there and the combination of the music and the lights was just too much. The wall of light and sound might as well have been built from steel and concrete. I could feel myself shutting down and so quickly retreated to the relative safety of my bro and the sofa.
When I got home I quickly heated up the little bag of lavender scented stuff from inside of Padger, grabbed a bottle of Gatorade and then retreated to my room where I jumped into bed, put Padger on my pillow, curled up in a ball, pulled the duvet over my head and full on melted.
A week later and I’ve just about recovered.
*A certain amount of karma was dished out when Fake Elvis pulled a hammy during his performance of Suspicious Minds.