Thursday, January 13, 2005

this song sounds like needles

My sister gave me a mix CD of a bunch of those dippy Top 40 songs that I secretly LOVE, though maybe not quite as much as she, who seems to own the entire "NOW That's What I Call Music" library (Vols. 1-17). One of the songs on the CD she made for me is that one by Maroon 5 that goes, "This! Love! Has! Taken it's toll! On me!" You know which one I'm talking about. Every time I hear that song, I think of the NICU.

A word of explaination about the NICU. Lite FM is always on in the NICU. (In case you're not familiar, Lite FM--and I'm sure there's a version of it where you live--plays THE BEST LITE HITS OF THE 70's, 80's, 90's AND TODAY, and is favored at such mellow places as dentist's waiting rooms and gas station Kwiky Marts.) There's no central music system in the NICU, but there are little portable radios brought in by various nurses dotted around the perimeter of the unit (which is rougly oval shaped, like a racetrack), and since all the radios are tuned to the same station, you get the feeling of a very large and elaborate surround-sound system as you tour the floor, walking out of the sphere of one radio's play zone and into the sphere of another.

Anyway, for some reason, both times I've been in the NICU--in May and in September, for those of you playing along with the home version of the game--that Maroon 5 song has been playing every time I have to poke a kid with needles. The rest of the time, it's a regular assortment of Celine Dion, Rod Stewart, Elton John, what have you, but the moment I whip out those little blood culture bottles or the ABG syringe, every time the IV setup or the LP tray gets set up, "This! Love! Has! Taken it's toll! On me!"

My hope is that, in the tiny slivers of aural memory that may be laid down at that stage, those kids remember that Maroon 5 song too. Maybe so much so that years later, when they're all hale and healthy and King of the Schoolyard, just hearing a few notes of that song, ("This! Love! Has! Taken it's toll! On me!") will be enough to make them cry a little, even if they don't remember why. Sweet, sweet memories of our brief time together.

Currently reading: "Candy Freak," again. My sister (my other sister, the non-CD-gifting one) wants to borrow the book this weekend, so I'm trying to re-read it quickly.

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