The urge is insatiable.

I began young. I started by stealing from my parents' stash, black vinyl records full of juicy guitar riffs and frenetic drumming, the seductive tones of a clarinet. I got hooked and it wasn't long before I'd gotten the beginnings of my habit: a little plastic tape-deck in bright primary colors and dozens of battered tapes of the good stuff.

I've been addicted for almost 13 years, and I usually go for the stronger stuff now, without the impurities of the low hiss of the cassette. I wander the aisles of the shops, looking for my next hit--will it be the low-fi amphetamines-and-adrenaline album of punk, short and fast, or will it be a long opium-like trip of jazz or swing, heady and intoxicating? I grab an armful, six or eight albums, a variety of everything, because I'm never sure when I'll get to grab that next dose.

I'm sitting in the car, waiting. My stereo's quiet, for once, anticipating the release of today's goods. I try, but I can't wait until I get home for my fix. I desperately rip open the cellophane at the red light. I tell myself I'm in control, that I can stop this anytime, but I know I'm a liar.

My room's full of used paraphernalia, like any junkie's. A massive stereo sits on the crowded table with speakers of various sizes perched all around. The changer's already full, and open cases overflow over the top, filled with an incestuous mismatched mix of rock, classical, techno--anything I can get my hands on. A pair of big headphones sits on a box of albums next to my bed, leftover from my last fix. I rip the albums open, my heart already speeding up in anticipation.

I lay back on my bed and let the sound wash over my body. I am alone, drunk on pulsing basslines and writhing harmonies.