You’ve all done it. I’m certain of it. You’ve all been listening to your Walkmans, or Discmans, or MP3 players, or iPods, or iPod Shuffle 23rd iGeneration iPodPad Super iPhone Players, or whatever, and a particular song has filtered into the entangled coils of your brain, and before you know it you are in your own film with its own soundtrack.
I do it all the time.
Yesterday, during my bike ride, I was listening to my iPod (technically dangerous, I know – sorry) and Firestarter by The Prodigy came on. Within seconds, I was no longer cycling amiably over Kingston Bridge, but I was hurtling through a dark, monstrous city in hot pursuit of an evil overlord who had done something very naughty.
It made me peddle like a mentalist, I’m telling you. I only became aware I was doing it when I felt a strain in my face muscles, and realised I was pulling a devilishly determined expression quite suitable for pursuing evil overlords, but not so suitable for cycling through a sunny town centre on a Sunday afternoon.
I have quite a comprehensive catalogue of songs that have provided soundtracks to my life. I used to lie on the floor of my bedroom and enact a dramatic death scene involving lots of gasping and whispered last words to my empty room with this playing on my CD player:
Unfortunately, as the piece is only a minute and a half long, I had to keep rising from my death bed to press the rewind button to replay the track, which kind of dampened the drama. (The familiar among you will know that as Gladiator only came out in 2000, and I was born in 1985, I could have been no younger than 15 at the time of this little playacting, which is probably far too old for that sort of thing and I will almost definitely regret revealing this silly information.)
During reflective times at university, I would lie on my bed in my cell-like room in halls, and listen to this (while a camera did a close-up of my emotion-strewn face):
And this is particularly good for a moody walk on a dull depressing day, with lots of pausing to gaze out at the grey landscape and reflect on the futility of life:
But the best, the absolute best, for pretending you’ve come face to face with your arch enemy, exchanging a few intensely dramatic looks with each other, and then breaking into a Bruce Willis-style run while you chase your enemy through burning buildings and leap off rooftops and your sweaty muscles are bulging through your ripped t-shirt and you’re covered in bloodied cuts from recent fights-to-the-death and then everything explodes (while actually only going for a jog through the park), is this:
So, if you ever see a 27 year-old woman sprinting down a high street with teeth bared, eyes fierce and fists clenched, or standing on the banks of a river gazing dramatically out at the water with hair whipping round her face, it’s only me having a bit of an act.