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It's a beautiful thing.

Walking down the aisle of the bustling record store and finding that one work of art that fits. Could be something you never heard of before. Could be an old friend. What draws you to it? The cover art? The tracklist? Maybe it was recommended by that DJ that entertains you so much. Premeditated or not, you hone in on it. Or perhaps it hones in on you. So you grab it. The crinkle of shrink wrap, the weight in your hand. Turning it over and over in both your palm and your mind. What will it sound like? How will the music taste? It feels good, really good, just being held.

Sufficiently satisfied with the slick packaging, it's time to pay the piper via the guy at the register. Have to relinquish the tactile sensations for a moment. He rings it up. "Hey man, this is good stuff. You're gonna love it." It's been a full thirty seconds, and he's still fumbling around with the old register. Doesn't he know how important this is?< br> "Awright, man. Seven fifty's your change. Have a nice day."

And so you exit the store and the little bell rings and you start to walk to your car and- no, you don't walk. You run. No CD player, but you don't turn the radio on. No pollution.

Okay. Home. Finally. Tear open the shrink wrap. Catch a fingernail in the corner and just yank it. Rip off the little sticker that keeps the jewel case from being opened. Time to pull it open. Slowly. It feels extremely brittle and resistant. Absorb the liner notes. Stare at the art on the disc. The disc gets pulled-carefully- from the sharp black teeth. Marvel at its untouched surface. Shiny. Scratchless. Unyielding. Perfect. It gets inserted into the sound device of choice. A sharp breath, and then- 'play'. The music flows over everything, covering both large and small flaws in the universe. Let the experience wash over you, as you listen for hours. Learn the names of the songs. Learn the songs themselves. Enjoy it, because it'll never be new again.

Bliss.

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