From Father to Son
If a scent can conjure up images of a summer day or a sacred night, the sounds of the past years ought to perform a similar task. That sonic remembrance of what once was ought to propel the memory banks to produce scenes from the already experienced. Like neon lights illuminating a dusty hall, the very vibrations of a forgotten moment being brought back to the fore ought to inspire. That’s what it should have been like for Mr. Marquette. He recalled all the bitter thoughts as they circled the drain of his mind. After punching out from his profession as a plumber who happened to wear vintage jeans and a tailored shirt always tucked in and never slovenly, he decided to create a playlist. This very list of hits from the days of vinyl and cassettes would have put him in a negative light as a hipster. But he actually embraced the term and allowed no one to knock him for his taste in music, in film, in women, in anything.
A Playlist of Cuts
Mr. Marquette harnessed his powers as a plumber early in his youth. He helped his father to repair and replace septic tanks. It was dirty, dirty work but his father smiled after every job. He knew that he had put in the work to provide for his family. Mr. Marquette actually possessed a degree in chemical engineering and English Literature from Howard P. Perry University. He prided himself on keeping a respectable dress code and spoke properly. He had also studied business classes and took pointers from entrepreneurs. He engaged with all the right contacts and got his name circulated through the plumbing industry. With money that he had earned from the collection and sale of scraps of pipes that once washed waste to treatment plants, he secured the rights to his own plumbing outfit. He named it Think Sink. He established the company’s colors in a hunter green and white motif. A logo of a wrench being held like Lady Liberty’s torch emblazoned on SUV’s and vans throughout the city solidified the fact that Mr. Marquette got the job done--well.
So, Mr. Marquette, ready to create a playlist of cuts that would reflect his current status as a businessman, he selected the tunes which would grant him the keys to unlock his psyche. On his smartphone, he searched for the songs of youth. He and his father would travel out of state to conventions that featured presenters who touted the latest trends in the industry. He recalled the toilet that could “sense” if it needed to be serviced and sent messages to its owner to notify the nearest plumber.
The Meaning of the Blues
The Best in Man
“Ah,” he said aloud as he chose a song by the late gospel singer LaDronda Cord. He relished the sweeping strings and lilting vocals which praised the best in man. He particularly enjoyed the selections about reaching Mars and how the mission succeeded. From the gospel song glorifying man’s achievements, Mr. Marquette next chose a blues record which magnified man’s greatness, just in a different way. He could see shapes and color as he listened to each cut and this blues song, like a good blues songs, spoke of the philosophy of life. It spoke of the human race presenting a potential that no other species could muster. The use of the mind, he thought, would have to take precedence over everything. Attitude oozed from the wireless headphones which wrapped around his head. The song was “The Hateful Blues.” He focused on the task at hand. A leaky faucet and a stubborn tub backed up with God knows what provided him with a challenge to scroll through songs and to of course fix the leak and unclog the tub. And he was clean. The customer marveled at the handiwork. Through all the water and gunk, Mr. Marquette remained pristine. He received payment through dollars, yes. This spiritual payment he had garnered as a result of producing and completing a day’s worth of honest work drove him to do more. In the 14 hours that he worked everyday, he had to pay employees, balance checkbooks, pick up dry cleaning, and go to the fitness center down the block. Mr. Marquette knew that he needed an assistant but decided against searching for one because he savored the challenge. What his father had always instilled him remained with him. His father said that you can love somebody or hate him or her, what matters is the idea of showing respect. And these blues records kept coming. And which each cut, Mr. Marquette dug deeper into his intellectual vault and bore treasures. He recalled the day a septic tank almost exploded due to the buildup of methane gas and careless kids playing with firecrackers. His father remedied the situation by telling directly the thoughtless children to refrain from using any type of explosives, however seemingly benign they might be. “Frosty Night Blues” by Redd Done Right proved to be the power which would allow Mr. Marquette to continue his agenda. An overachiever, he timed himself on each job and kept track of any errors he made while perfecting the art of water works. He chided himself if he ever missed a step and ensured that he would employ the utmost of care and attention to the next endeavor.
On the Rise
He now listened to the final song list. Another gospel song. This time Dovey Linton brought out the choir in hopes of raising the spirits of those who viewed skyscrapers as illustrations of the highest of ideals. “On the Rise” delivered a memory for Mr. Marquette which would sustain him for the remaining hours of the day. He thought of his father when the song had ended. He finished his last bit of the work flawlessly and without a stain on his shirt.