You Have Control of the Aux Cord. Don’t Fuck It Up!

With great power comes great responsibility.

Congrats! You made a big fuss about Jake giving you the aux cord and now you’re in charge of the music. You said, “Since you get to drive, I should get to choose the music” and Jake said, “Do you wanna drive?” and you said, “Nah, it’s OK. Thanks, though.” Secretly, you’ve been scared to get behind the wheel ever since you ran over that squirrel two weeks ago. Who did it leave behind? Children? A nest? In your defense, squirrels should have evolved to learn how to use a crosswalk by now.

But you and Jake are just going to CVS, so it should be fine. What’s some good CVS music? But wait, CVS music isn’t a thing. Well, maybe it is, but you can’t replicate that right now. You’re getting in your head. You always do this. Jake says, “So are you gonna pick a song? We could also just, like, talk.” You say, “No, no, it’s fine.”

It occurs to you that you don’t know what kind of music Jake likes. You’re starting to squirm and sweat a little bit, just above your upper lip. It must show because Jake says, “Is everything OK?”

Just play Fleetwood Mac. Everyone loves Fleetwood Mac.

You put on “Tusk.”

Jake says, “Whatever happened to that girl you were seeing? Stephanie? Samantha?”

Fuck, he didn’t say anything about the song. Does Jake not like Fleetwood Mac? No, that would be crazy. Should I tell him about how they recorded the legendary horn parts for “Tusk” at an empty Dodger Stadium with over a hundred members of the USC marching band? He probably already knows. When was the last time you learned a new fact? Why can’t you finish a book anymore? Remember how much you used to read in high school? But then again, your skin was gross back then.

Maybe it’s too upbeat. You play “Landslide.”

Jake says, “Damn, dude. This is emotional for just going to the pharmacy.”

You say, “Didn’t you get dumped in a pharmacy in college?”

Jake says, “Yeah, Bethany. I was just starting to get over her. Thanks for reminding me.”

You say, “Hasn’t it been like six years?”

Jake says, “Only five.”

You say, “She’s probably married by now,” and Jake says, “How is that supposed to make me feel better?” and you say, “Well, 50 percent of marriages end in divorce so you might have a chance down the line,” and Jake says, “Has anyone ever told you you’re bad at comforting people?” and you say, “Actually, yeah.”

Yikes. If only you had a go-to playlist for driving with other people. Something you could just press “shuffle” on so you wouldn’t end up in the kind of dire situation you’re in now.

Jake rubs his eyes. It’s probably just allergies. Jake says, “It’s just allergies.”

Oh, thank God. The red CVS sign. You’re here. On the way back, you should probably just stick with NPR. FL

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