We had only a couple of 45s. If you don’t know what a 45 is, it was a small record album that played two songs, the hit on the A side and the less popular (or completely unknown) song on the B side. Both were by Frank Sinatra. We played them on a giant piece of furniture with a turntable. I suppose it was funny to have two small records and this giant stereo console, but that’s what we had. We bought the 45s at Carlson’s music center for 99 cents each, and my mother got the stereo console in the divorce in exchange for the waffle iron.
On dark Sunday afternoons, we laid on the floor, 4 feet apart, each with a head by a speaker. We played them over and over. I didn’t want to play the B sides. It seemed like that’s what we were living. “One day,” she said as we waited out the Sunday, “days will be full, and faster than we can imagine. And life will be great!” Now, as I try to capture the blur that passed, the blur of laughter and tears, the music of life, I know she was so right.
Today, in France, a small number of the old men still wear hats. How elegant, I think. How very Frank. They hold a bit of time, and carry it, slowly, softly. And I breathe in the songs of Sunday, giving thanks for every B side, every mother’s promise, every hope carried in and out of tune, 45 rotations per minute.