May 2020 21


Day 8.

Can a record impact your life without ever being played?

Can a record be pressed with a message that will only be delivered decades later?

For years this one sat in my parents’ record collection.


Every year it would get pushed further down the shelf to make way for 70s and 80s suburban parental staples like the ‘Chariots of Fire’ soundtrack, and ‘Hooked on Classics’.

A few years ago we moved my dad, Bert, out of the family home. While raiding the family record collection, I came across this record again, vaguely remembering seeing it throughout my childhood. Spanish writing. Scenes of broken buildings on it. No clue.

Oh a whim, I decided to save it from the fate of 1-800 JUNK and put it in the stack for my own collection.

Some months later, both my dad and Carlos Morenowere over. My dad was born in Belize, by the way. Carlos is from Guatemala. Neighbouring countries in Central America, there’s a long frosty history between the two nations, but the friendship between Bert and Carlos is warm. One of my dad’s fave people.

Hmmm. Didn’t that record have something to do with Central America?

I brought it out.

Carlos was silent. The phrase ‘It was like he was seeing a ghost’ is an apt cliché.

“Where did you get that?” Carlos asked.

“I dunno actually,” I admitted. “Dad, where’d this one come from?”

“Oh,” Bert said. “Someone came to the door in the 70s selling them for a fundraiser. And mom bought one.”

And then I remembered, years ago, Carlos told me about an earthquake in Guatemala. The record was Guatemalan. The images are from that earthquake. It was a fundraiser for his home country. I was too thick to make the connection earlier.

It turns out that two decades before Carlos and I even met, my mom had bought something for him.

Today’s record isn’t even mine. It rightfully belongs to Carlos, actually.

Once again, Reader, I remind you of the strangeness of how the universe moves. The foundations of the future are always growing around us, even if the present doesn’t make sense.