|Sometimes life can be a real pain, and when that happens you need the Ultimate Music Escape Package or UMEP. Simply plug these headphones into your ears and enjoy! If you don't hear anything make sure they are also plugged into this MP3 player. Soon you will hear beautiful voices singing at you. Angry? Try a little metal. Sad? Try something a little melancholy to match your mood. Feeling a little goofy? Play something a little cartoony. The possibilities are endless. For whichever mood you're in we've got the music to compliment it!
If you really want to enjoy the full experience, though, you need these glasses. These simple looking glasses will very nearly complete your escape. Put them over your eyes, plug them into your MP3 player, and voila! You're in an entirely different world of visualizations. What you see is based on the music that you are listening to as well as the impulses sent to your brain by the glasses.
You want to know how we do it? We're not telling! You won't care how we do it once you experience it so come on down to the Eclectic Electronic Emporium and pick up a set today! They're selling fast so hurry up! If you some down in the next 24 hours we'll give you an insane deal on this recliner to go along with it! Sure, you could just have the sight and sound experience, but you would feel like a real dufus if you missed out on the additional touch and scent sensory experience. Especially when it's so cheap! Now get down here before we come to our senses!
Galina turned the TV off and turned to her friend, Sam.
"Holy cow Sam. I gotta get my hands on that. You know how I worship the Gods of Music? Well, that would be my shrine. Come on. Let's go!"
"Hold on just a sec, drama queen. Don't you think you're jumping the gun just a tad on this one? I mean, come on Gali. First of all, what money are you going to use to buy it? I don't think that your paycheck from Ye Olde Pretzel Shoppe is really gonna cover it. What are you gonna do, borrow money from your mom? I can see you asking her and then having to call the paramedics to reattach her ass after she laughs it off. Second of all, you do realize that was an infomercial right? I mean the products are never as good as they make them out to be and most likely it will break before you get it home. So why don't you just think this through before jumping into such a big purchase, all right?"
"Samantha, Samantha, Samantha" Galina sighs, "Have you ever been able to talk me out of a music related purchase?"
Sam shakes her head and says "No."
"So you think you can do it now because . . . ?"
"Temporary bout of insanity. Let's go." Sam says, rolling her eyes.
Samantha and Galina stand in front of the Eclectic Electronic Emporium. It appears that Galina is drooling just a little bit. She has slightly disheveled shoulder length brown hair. The petite girl has pale skin, freckles, and glasses. She wears jeans and a Spookey Ruben T-shirt. Samantha is slightly more put together. She has long shiny black hair, tied back in a low ponytail. She wears a semi-short-sleeved sweater and pin-striped pants. They enter the Eclectic Electronic Emporium. A woman in a navy blue business suit approaches them with a huge and obviously fake grin on her face.
"Hello! Welcome to the Eclectic Electronic Emporium! My name is Sandra Sheridan, and I would like to do anything I can to help you out today. So what can I do for you? Wait! Let me guess!" She gives the girls a long surveying look. "I've got it. You" she says, pointing to Galina "are interesting in our Ultimate Music Escape Package. You have very good taste I have to say. You look like a girl who knows what she wants and gets it when she wants it. I like that. And you" she points to Sam. "Well . . . You just got dragged along with your friend against your will, huh? Poor thing. Tried to talk her out of it didn't you? That was a little silly now wasn't it?" Sandra says with a condescending chuckle. Sam and Galina exchange an annoyed look.
"Well, you've got it mostly right, ma'am. I am interested in the UMEP, but Sam here didnít get dragged along. She wanted to come." Galina said in a sickeningly sweet voice to match Sandra's. "That's just fine then. Now, let me tell you about this product," said Sandra as she put her arm around Galina's shoulder and guided her toward the UMEPs. Galina looks helplessly over her shoulder as she is guided away from her friend. Sam has a look of disbelief on her face at the complete lack of respect that the woman showed her. Galina mouths 'sorry' and she gives in to the saleslady's direction.
A half hour later Galina and Sam exit the store slouching under the weight of several heavy bags and boxes. They stagger out to Sam's car and load it up.
"So, Galina . . . I thought that this UMEP thing consisted of an MP3 player, headphones, a pair of glasses, and a cheap recliner. What's with all this other stuff?" Sam said slightly out of breath after heaving several packages into her back seat.
"Well that is all you have to have, but Sandra gave me some great deals on the upgrades,"
"Sandra?" Sam said raising an eyebrow. "Good to see you've found a new best friend."
"I'm sorry. Ms. Sheridan. Anyhow. She said that she could see that I really love my music so she said she'd give me special discounts that she wouldn't have given anyone else."
"And that doesn't seem at all weird to you?"
"Well, how much did you spend then?"
Galina's face turned a little pink as she said "About five hundred" in a small voice.
"Five hundred dollars?" Shouted Sam. "What were you thinking? And how did you pay for it? Does she accept Monopoly money or something? Because if that's the case, I should've loaded up on stuff too."
"Chill out, Sam. I used a credit card."
"Huh, didn't know you had one."
"Yeah, well I do. My mom gave it to me."
"Probably to use on really expensive musical equipment, right?"
"Well . . . for emergencies."
"And this was an emergency how?"
"Just leave me alone about it. Sandra said you'd get jealous like this."
"Excuse me? Jealous how? How does Sandra know anything about me? Wait. You know what? Forget it, just promise me that I can be there when you tell your mom."
"Umm, okay, fine. Why?"
"Because I haven't been to the movies in awhile and I'm starved for entertainment."
"Wow. Iím so lucky to have such a great best friend." Galina said sarcastically.
Galina and Sam sneak the UMEP stuff into the house and into Galina's basement bedroom. After clearing an area for it the set it up. Galina is giddy with excitement. They upload all of her CDs to the MP3 player and Galina sits down in the chair.
"Is it just me or does this look like something out of a medieval torture chamber?" Asks Sam nervously.
"Yes, Sam, I had a choice of designs and silly me, I went with Torture Chamber. I'm really disappointed that it didn't come with the thumb screws though. It really would've completed the experience for me. I wish I could turn back time and choose Matrix Black instead, but it's just too late."
"Thank you, Miss Sarcasm. I just meant that it doesn't look all that comfortable."
Galina shifted in the chair. "Well, I'm thinking it's an acquired taste. I'm sure that after I use it a few times I'll wear it in like new shoes."
"Right, so are you gonna try it out?"
"Yeah, let's get everything switched on."
"Dinner's ready girls!" called Galina's mom.
"Ugh, just like my mom to ruin a perfectly good time. Listen, please don't say anything about the UMEP. I know that you are really anxious to witness the reveal, but I'm not quite ready to deal with the meltdown that my mom is gonna have yet." Galina pleaded.
"You ruin all my fun!" Pouted Sam.
Galina and Sam have dinner with Galina's family. They get through it without Sam mentioning Galina's recent purchase, and then they go back down to the basement.
"All right, let's do this. I'll just set it for one song because Sandra said that it is something that you should really ease into."
"Ease into? Obviously she didn't get to know you very well if she expects you to ease into anything! Ha! Why are you supposed to ease into it anyway?Ē
"She didn't say. Probably so that you can get used to the way it feels little by little. Anyway, who cares? The time for talk is over. I'm doing this."
Galina adds a song to the play list. She puts on large round head phones.
"That must be one of the upgrades, huh?Ē asked Sam.
"Yeah, it's supposed to isolate you a little more so it is more of an escape." replies Galina as she places a very sci-fi looking visor over her eyes.
"Another upgrade, Galina?"
"You know, Sam, if you're gonna need to confirm that everything that I put on is an upgrade as I put it on it is going to be midnight before I get to try this out. So why don't you just go ahead and assume that each item is upgraded and check off on a little list in your head as I put it on? It will make this process so much easier." Galina said, snapping at Sam.
"Hey, guess what? Going home now. I didn't realize that today was Have your best friend turn into a major bitch day. I'll have to mark my calendar so I remember to get you a gift or a card or something because you do it so well!" Sam walks out the door, slamming it behind her. Galina calls out for her to come back, but she is pretty annoyed with her friend and so she doesn't follow her. She just goes back to her new toy. "I guess now that Sam isn't here to babysit me I can add a few more songs to the play list. It can't hurt to do three or four to start." Galina says to herself.
She adds the songs and sits back in her chair. She places the visor over her eyes and attaches the special extension that lies over the top of her nose and produces different scents to go along with her experience. She places the headphones over her ears and pulls on some special gloves that change texture so that she can feel the experience also. She presses the start button on her MP3 player and it begins.
Fiona Apple: Extraordinary Machine. On her visor she sees little swirls dancing every which way. The colors are vibrant and playful. She can see the music! The chair vibrates and pulses along with the beat of the music. She can feel the music! The gloves change making her feel like she is plucking strings along with the music. She is performing the music! The nasal extension produces the scent of carnivals. She can smell the music!
Andrew Bird: Sovay- She can see and smell water. She's on a lakeside with a gentle breeze. She can feel the breeze against her skin, and she is so glad that she got the chair and the gloves.
Imogen Heap: Hide and Seek- She feels the voices vibrating her whole body. She can smell the city. She feels brokenhearted. She sees something, but it keeps vanishing as soon as her eyes catch up with it.
The songs end and Galina is more that just a little relieved that she only put three songs on the track list. Each one was more intense than the first, and she totally understands why they had named the product the Ultimate Music Escape Package. She was very surprised at how she had felt so far from everything else. She had all but forgotten her tiff with Sam. Galina went to bed without saying goodnight to her mom. She felt like she had to adjust to life outside of herself a little bit before having to interact with anyone.
That night, Galina's dreams were as vivid as her UMEP experience. She felt as if her senses were in overdrive. When she wakes the next morning, it is exactly the opposite. It is like her senses were hung over. Everything is dull. She goes to school feeling a bit odd. By lunchtime she is feeling a little more like herself. She looks around for Sam since all seniors have the same lunch period. She spots her in the crowd and walks toward her. Their eyes meet, and Sam leaves the room before Galina even has a chance to say anything to her. All she wants to do is make up with her best friend. That shouldn't be so much to ask. But apparently it is. Each time Galina sees Sam in class or in the hallway she simply turns the other way. Just before last period Galina slips a note of apology into Sam's locker.