Feeling the Music

Apparently the 'Sprinkler' isn't an appropriate dance move for Reggae. It isn't really my fault I broke into dance while listening to my new favorite music. I was just feeling the spirit of the sound of the islands.
01/22/2016 10:58 am ET Updated Jan 21, 2017

Apparently the 'Sprinkler' isn't an appropriate dance move for Reggae. It isn't really my fault I broke into dance while listening to my new favorite music. I was just feeling the spirit of the sound of the islands.

I came to really appreciate this music late in life and fairly recently. Kind of. I could tell you that I have always loved the laid back sounds of Reggae. If I did it would be a little true. I owned a few Bob Marley albums in my youth... You know, just enough to seem deep and eclectic. However, many of you know my wife and if I claimed to always love Reggae she would seriously rat me out. She would tell you some story about how I listened to Conkarah and Rosie cover Adele's "Hello" and suddenly went all Reggae stalker and set up a whole Spotify playlist of Conkarah (Conqueror for those of you who don't speak Reggae) I am simply a true fan. Non Reggae fans wouldn't get it.

I am sitting in a local bakery known for their bagels. We have somebody working on the house this morning so I moved my base of operations. I figured the calm coffee house atmosphere would be conducive to creativity. I couldn't find an open seat next to an outlet for my dead laptop, so I sat near the window and started answering email on my phone. The background music was a little slow. I yearned for the music of the Caribbean. I realized that maybe not all of my coffee drinking compatriots have such edgy taste in music as me so I got out my headphones and plugged them into my phone. I touched the buttons and made Conkarah sing "Don't Kill My Love" to me. It has a little bit of a pop vibe to it but hey even hardcore Rastas (oxymoron?) have to sell records.

I noticed immediately that something was wrong with my headphones. The sound was a bit distant and muffled. Not surprising, I thought. The boys use my headphones. I am lucky they work at all and it only takes one piece of duct tape to hold them together. I adjusted the volume upward and let Conkarah take me away.

We made it through "Don't Kill My Love" and Spotify fed me "Island Girl." Now we were talkin' Reggae. I cranked it up and got to movin'. After about 30 seconds he hit the chorus and the Sprinkler happened. It was the Sprinkler because I don't know that many cool dance moves and I just don't have the knees for the Running Man anymore. I was starting my second watering pass when a young man with a knit cap, a giant bag of bagels, glassy eyes and a happy disposition tapped me on the shoulder. He asked me a question that I couldn't hear.

As I removed my headphones I immediately realized two things.

First: The young man smelled like lawn clippings and cloves.

Second: I could still hear Conkarah singing about his Island Girl.

I looked down at my phone. You know how if you don't push the jack all the way into the port your headphones don't work and everybody can here your really cool tunes? Yeah, me too.

I glanced around moving only my eyes. People were looking at me like I passed gas in church. Not like I farted way loud, just like they suspected that the smelliness was coming from me. For a laid back coffee house crowd, I thought, the judgment factor is high. I silenced Conkarah.

The young man only wanted to tell me that he liked my music and that everybody could hear it. "No worries," he said. "I do that... like... all the time."

I pushed the jack all the way in the port and tentatively let Conkarah loose a little at a time. I looked around. Nobody was staring at me anymore Apparently my music was confined to my ears only. Too bad, I thought, because these people could use some Reggae.