Albert Camus
Of Music and Men (Hermit Crab Essay)
[Intro: Jeerapat Kaewkampol]
Music's been a part of my life since the first time I stepped in my brother's car
I grabbed the slightly broken, inturned handle of the white passenger door
I had to pull like oxen to open it
When I finally did, the pulse of a particularly bass-heavy song jarred my little brain
I was forced to step back
The experimental sounds of Kanye West’s “On Sight” forced their way out the car
Kanye’s avant-garde minimalism was so loud and boisterous
My arm hairs stood up and raved like they wеre in a moshpit
It imprinted on me
Thе noises within the car were so alien to me
They traveled into my eardrums and impressed a neural crop circle in my temporal lobe
I looked to the asked my brother, “What song is this?”
He looked at me and smiled
“You like this?”
I nodded my head
Dave laughed to himself and told me just to listen to it
He started to bob his head
I followed suit
Dave pressed on the gas and let “On Sight” swell to its climax.
Inside that car, my love of music germinated

[Sample: Kid Cudi]
The people I've met and the places I've been
Are all what make me the man I so proudly am
[Verse 1: Jeerapat Kaewkampol]
Music accompanies me everywhere
When I’m with my friends, music is there too
It’s in the car with us as we belt ballads with the windows down
Or when we’re energized and want some loud, quick-tempo music to reinforce our frenzy
Even when we’re in a quiet, contemplative silence
Soft piano melodies, silky string arpeggios, and velvety brass diminuendos create a place of peace
Music accompanies me everywhere
When I’m alone, there’s music
As I write, background instrumentals imbue themselves within each syllable
As I sleep, gentle jazz chords diffuse throughout my room
As I exist, tunes of every genre suffuse gray matter
It surges as I soar to my highest highs
It drops as I collapse to my lowest lows
Music accompanies me everywhere

[Sample: Mac Miller]
She don't cry no more
She tell me that I get her high 'cause an angel's s'posed to fly, and
I ain't askin' "Why?" no more

[Verse 2: Jeerapat Kaewkampol]
When my mom told me my grandmother died I didn't react at all
Instead, I bottled up my heartbreak and I listened to music
That same night, a life-changing album dropped
Mac Miller’s Swimming
While everyone else was listening to Astroworld, I laid on my reclined, cream-colored La-Z-Boy
White wired Apple earbuds in my ear
Its microphone rested on my lips, and the wire was on my nose
It tickled me each inhale
My head arched up to look at my iPhone 6 like it was a baby crib mobile
My eyes were glued on Mac Miller’s salmon pink suit
I pressed play on the album
It had been thirty minutes since my mom told me the news
Not a single moment of introspection occurred within that time
“My grandma is dead”, I rationalized the words and moved on.
“My grandma is dead”, it was simply a fact.
“My grandma is dead”, I processed the sentence like it was a math equation.
Logic took over, my emotions deferred
Then came Mac Miller’s pensive voice
His melancholic tone and heavy lyrics
They shattered my counterfeit Stoicism
My eyes watered
My nose started to run
I remembered her face
How she took care of me
Fed me, clothed me, loved me
My grandma was dead, it was the most devastating news of my life.
My grandma was dead, I’ll never get to see her again.
My grandma was dead, I wished she’d come back to earth.
[Instrumental Break]

[Bridge: Jeerapat Kaewkampol]
My sincerest condolences to those unaffected by music
Those, who are numb to its influences
Those, who think me strange for jittering and jiving to a series of vibrations
Those, who only hear what I feel
That is the grandest tragedy of all.

[Sample: Kendrick Lamar]
Fire burning inside my eyes, this the music that saved my life
Y’all be calling it hip-hop, I be calling it hypnotize

[Outro: Jeerapat Kaewkampol]
On my Spotify account, I have a playlist for everything
10 songs that instill, within me, an invincible summer
To me, this is music at its best
Life at its best
That ascension from the dungeons of despair to the heights of euphoria
The eruption of endorphins after running miles
That moment of rebirth for the Phoenix
The beautiful azure sky being pierced by the glow of gold
Not all of these songs are actually happy song
One’s about a breakup
Another’s about the crushing lowlights of life
They all have though, the thread of optimism
Whether it be in the lyrics
Within the instrumental
Or inside the musician’s tone
They make me glad I’m still alive
I created this playlist two years ago, in 2021
I don’t even remember the reason I made it
Maybe I was possessed by a particularly animated spirit
That might be it
The zeal for life overwhelmed me and compelled me to create a playlist
Music that commemorated existence