It was in Washington, DC at American University for a summer camp. I was there learning about film. She was there for journalism. We first talked on a bus ride to some day trip to a team-building exercise or radio studio or something enriching. The event doesn’t matter now, but that bus ride did.
I carried my iPod with me wherever I went. Having little to define myself, I used my favorite music to fill in the blanks. “Probably stuff you’d never heard of.” Arcade Fire. The Strokes. Interpol. It was 2007. Lots of people knew who the Strokes are.
“What are you listening to?” said a voice from behind my seat on the bus.
“Probably stuff you’ve never heard of.”
She sat up and pushed her head between the shoulders of the seat cushions. She had an iPod of her own in her hand. “Try me.” She smiled.
We switched iPods on the bus ride home. That night, I laid in my cot, listening to bands I’d never heard of, wondering about the men who created the playlists saved to her mp3 player and if I had a shot.