On the way to my friend’s place last Wednesday, I drove up with one of my friends for about an hour after picking him up. It didn’t feel like a long drive, and thankfully we didn’t hit much traffic aside from the usual nonsense. It was just standard; nothing exceptional or outstanding on our way to and from our mutual friend’s house.
But what stood out to me, as we drove from place to place, is the presence of music in a car ride, how the perfect blend of music in a playlist fits into the background like a puzzle piece, not upsetting the balance, not overthrowing the car’s emotional tranquility or atmosphere. How music itself is necessary for a long car ride, otherwise people will feel the need to fill the air with small-talk and fruitless conversation. And as someone with anxiety, no conversation is worse than a forced conversation, even among friends! It can still lead to paranoia and confusion in the car. The mood of the car is important to maintain. One time, I tried playing through my metal playlist, filled with Mastodon and Megadeth and Metallica and other M-named bands, only to realize that it didn’t really jive with the more relaxed, calming mood we had set. Thus, I was overthrowing the steady car feeling. It’s one thing to play a song that someone doesn’t like, but it’s another to play an usurping full set of music.
So, it became important for me to make sure that the music playing as we drove to our friend’s place was worthwhile, but also not dramatically or diametrically opposed to the mood. I gathered a bunch of video game songs that were remixed into lo-fi versions, and I played them for my friend. Turns out, it went well and there was nothing to worry about!