There are two radios in my kitchen; one is from my husband's childhood. It is an RCA Victor floor Model 8K with a magic eye, however the radio isn't functional, except as a place to put things. The other radio came from one of my forays into the barn, a Thomas Museum Series reproduction, am/fm with a broken cassette player. It is somewhat functional, meaning sound comes out of it, but the only stations it seems to get are Jazz, Spanish, fundamentalist preaching, and more Jazz. So we've been listening to a lot of Jazz, which isn't a bad thing at all.
One was a college radio station, which is how we first heard Radio girl. She announced the names of the musicians and pieces of music with hesitancy, as if she herself got so lost in Coltrane or Miles Davis, that it was an effort to talk afterwards. We imagined her in real life as someone quite shy, someone who did not stand out in a crowd, someone rather thin and awkward, introspective. Not your typical radio personality.
I began timing cooking and our dinner to her schedule, just so we could hear Radio girl, who we had all developed a tenderness towards. She had very good taste in the music she chose and I thought someone should tell her that. One night after her last song, I called the radio station and she answered, sounding exactly the same. (You're probably thinking I'm crazy, but if you had heard her voice, you might have done the same thing.) I thanked her, told her how much we enjoyed her segment of the show.
Her response bordered on meekness, as if she didn't know how to accept a compliment. Soon after that, Radio girl was gone. Maybe she graduated, maybe she is going home for the summer. All I know is that we miss her, a total stranger, whose voice is remembered for its lack of substance or ego. Like a beautiful cloud dispersing, leaving wisps in the sky or the way a dandelion leaves its bright yellow bloom behind, going to seed. One breath and the delicate, white fluff, floating away with secret childhood wishes.