Showing posts from January, 2019

Radio Days

The bicycle rider moves along the circuitry of the city like a glowing radio dial.

I picture the toaster-sized, countertop radios I grew up with. There was a round knob on the side. Turning it by hand would shuttle a red dial across the AM frequency numbers—55, 60, 70, 80 100, 120, 140 160—and through the static that surrounded them. As a boy, I would spin the dial back and forth, turn it all the way to the end, and then turn it back slowly and listen for the way CHED at 630, CHQT at 880, CFRN at 1260 appeared like islands of sound. It was eerie and thrilling.

Those radio days have aged rapidly. Music is now delivered by keystroke and bluetooth. The new Vampire Weekend I am listening to as I work on this post arrived after I clicked the iTunes icon, entered h-a-r-m-o-n-y space h-a-l-l in the search bar and then clicked on the faux play button.

For me, the experience of shuttling a dial across a radio face has mysteriously deposited itself into practice of riding a bicycle into and th…