We wanted to walk after dinner, to feel less fat, less 40, less broke, more something. So we did. My husband and I walked 2 miles to Silverlake and wandered around and into a record store called Vacation Vinyl. We browsed. We chatted. Rich looked at a Hirax record and the owner pointed out that it was slightly warped. The he offered to play it for him, just to see how bad it was. I watched the wavy plastic spin on the turntable and Rich played air drums to its song, making the record store owner chuckle.

“Did you have this back in the day?” he asked.

“Yeah, on cassette,” Rich laughed.

Together they decided the record wasn’t too badly warped after all—it was listenable. Then the owner surprised us both.


“Tell you what… I haven’t done my good deed for the day. Take it. You seem to be the right person for this record.”

“Really?” Rich asked, scratching his scruffy blond head.

“Yeah,” said the guy, putting the record back in its sleeve and waving it toward Rich. “Enjoy!”

Rich took it and thanked him. We left feeling grateful. Rich vowed, “the next time I have some money, I’m coming here to buy something, just to support them.”


The next day we suddenly had money, riding that miraculous-yet-maddening rollercoaster of the self-employed. We walked to Silverlake again, this time for dinner at Flore and to fulfill the promise of the night before. Rich spotted Dennis, the singer of Refused, sitting a few tables away. We finished dinner, I excused my self to the bathroom and hoped he wouldn’t bother him while he was eating. When I came outside, ready to go record shopping, Rich asked, “Do we have any plans tonight?” I shook my head no, assuming these were our ‘plans. “Good,” he said. “Because Dennis just told me that Refused are playing a secret show at Vacation Vinyl in 20 minutes.” We headed over, got our numbered tickets, and got in line. While I held our spot and origamied my ticket into a boat, Rich went in and bought a Refused record, which he’d ask everyone to sign after the show. We packed into the small room, some familiar faces standing around the racks, and we were treated to an intimate set of high-volume Swedish post-hardcore. Good things happen when you take walks.