Paul likes metal music, heavy guitar-driven music—the kind of music that curdles blood and sends people racing for ear plugs. And he wonders why he has a hard time with his hearing. Oh wait, that’s me. Hmmm….
Convinced I detest this kind of music, he puts on a metal song whenever I’m riding in his car (not too loud, thankfully), fishing for a complaint. He waits for me to mock, insult, or demand that he play different music. So, naturally, I say nothing. My silence emboldens him, for he thinks it gives him license to vocalize what he imagines I’m thinking. However, he has no idea what’s going through my head, and what’s funny to me is that he’s so far off.
You see, what Paul doesn’t know is that when he’s not around, I secretly listen to metal music. I indulge when my wife isn’t around, when my mom or church friends aren’t around. In one secret file in my desk, I have rock band posters signed by the artists themselves. I’ve even been to metal concerts without ever telling anyone…until now. On my laptop and iPhone is a cleverly disguised iTunes playlist entitled “Classical Music.” Nobody will ever check it (99.9999% of iTunes users are NOT listening to Bach, Beethoven, or Chopin), so I know I’m safe from anyone discovering my secret. This playlist consists of such “classics” as Iron Maiden, Metallica, Slayer, Disturbed, Trivium, Babymetal…you know, the whole works.
Now, if you really knew me, you’d probably realize that I’m just joshing…gosh! I even had to google “metal bands” to come up with that list. Shivers run up my spine when I see the images on their album covers…disturbing, to say the least. What’s worse, I cringe when I see clips of the lyrics on the search pages. I would never sing, much less utter such words in front of a young child. Not even in front of Paul who is twenty-five.
After that web search, I looked for “Christian metal bands.” Those, of course, are the songs that Paul plays for me in the car—Thousand Foot Krutch, Skillet, and others whose names I can’t remember. Maybe he thinks because they’re Christian metal bands, I won’t protest so strongly. (But remember, I don’t protest—I stay silent. All bets are off as to what my wife might say if he plays that kind of music when she’s in the car).
All that said, the music Paul listens to doesn’t bother me nearly as much as it does my wife. Even much of the music I listen to is more upbeat than what she likes. She likes Josh Groban. Better quit there.
What Paul can’t fully appreciate is that I was once a young man. Let that blow his developing twenty-five-year-old brain into a glob of cosmic confusion churning around in his young adult heart. More shocking to him still would be to know that I listened to wailing electric guitar-driven music—at full blast—in my car—during my early years. I even used to hang around guitarists who took me to their lairs (practice studios) and busted the woofers more than once. Maybe I lost more than my hearing during those jam sessions.
In any case, the only thing I’m thinking when Paul turns on that kind of music is, “How can he do this?” The “he” refers not to Paul, but to the vocalists. Screaming, growling, show after show. How much recovery time do those shrillers need between performances? I lose my voice after trying to growl a little on a single song. Those guys’ voices are made of tougher stuff than mine, for sure.
No, I don’t enjoy metal music, and I wouldn’t be unhappy if Paul found something more “mainstream” to listen to. But hey, my secret chuckle is now that Paul has a son, he’s likely to be singing nursery rhymes, Veggie Tales, and kids songs all over again like he did when hewas a child. Becoming a father helps to tame the wild nature of boys, and that’s probably a good thing. Paul, when you read this, I hope you are shocked, chuckle, and finally comprehend the scandalous thoughts that pass through your father’s mind when he’s forced to listen to your music.