“Gorilla” is just one of those songs. I first heard it on the MTV Video Music Awards, and I had to pause whatever it was I was doing at the time to listen (and to look–Bruno Mars and his swag ain’t too hard on the eyes, after all). Then later–like, days later–it kept coming back for more. It was just like the first time I ate sushi. I had a good experience, left the restaurant thinking about something else entirely, then weeks or months later, out of the blue, I wanted sushi. Badly. It was the same with “Gorilla”. A week after the VMAs I found myself hitting play on my iPhone over and over and over again, bang-banging my way from the ANA Intercontinental Hotel in Tokyo to Narita Airport in a coach bus, the Japanese landscape interweaving with the sounds filling my earbuds. It was a multi sensory mural of my own musical maki.
Why did I keep hitting play, you ask? Boredom would be a good first guess, since I was in fact spending an hour and a half on a bus ride to the airport. But that’s not it. You could also say it was because it is a sexy song and I was in a sexy mood. Also a fair guess, but again I come back to the setting in question–coach bus on a Japanese highway. The short answer is, I kept hitting play because I wanted to. I craved to hear that particular groove again, its hook, it’s beat, its tight and bright composition and soulful vocals. It’s a hell of a good song, and I wanted to hear it again.
To act on pure and simple desire is not something I do a lot, and I propose that the same is true for most of us. When want is mixed with reason, reason often wins out. Sometimes it’s physical, as in “I’d love to eat the whole box of Milk Duds now, but my ass would hate me.” Or it could be logistical, as in “I am chafing at the bit to go out for dinner with my friends, but other people need the car.” Whenever there is a need and a want, the need comes first, and so it is very rare that we experience that exhilaration that comes from giving into a craving with singular focus. Activities from skiing to sex, sleeping in to sleeping over are all colored with the tagline, “I’d love to, but…” But what?
I think there’s a physiological or psychological link here too. Just like craving cold water when you’re parched, our subconscious cues us into sounds, sights, and sensations that we somehow need by creating the sensation of want. Think about it. When the image of a soft, succulent morsel of rich chocolate cake pops into your mind’s eye, could it be because your day was sour, your thoughts bitter, or your words salty? If you ache for a quiet spot to sit and tinker, is it simply to quiet the carnival in your mind? The subconscious tells us what we need in a way that will make us understand. You may be saying something to yourself; you should really listen.
What if we all committed to indulging our cravings just once a day? So long as it doesn’t involve something illegal, immoral, or just plain rude, why not? If we gifted ourselves this type of little thrill on a regular basis, even if only once a day, perhaps it may just take the edge off a little. Maybe that glass of wine would make us nicer, that pedicure give us a wee bit more patience, that roll in the hay make us want to have more…rolls in the hay?
I’m adding this practice to my Torrid Forties M.O. Why? Because I want to. Because it will keep the level of passion at a good rolling boil, a strong pipe of hot steam that will continue to blow straight and true every day without flagging. Tomorrow, that steam pipe will sing in Mannheim, Germany, where I’ll be listening to Bruno Mars sing “Gorilla” along with ten thousand other people. Why? Because I f$@&ing want to. #BangBang