I listen to spoken word while I cycle, not music: I feed Podcasts and NPR and books by people who I find too dry or too frivolous to read on paper,into my eardrums. I do this not because I don’t enjoy music, because I prefer spoken-word, but because music tears at my heart in a primordial way. I might tell you I don’t listen to Muse because they were only good for 10 seconds in 2010, or that I hate all music that got radio play between the years of 2006 to 2011, or that there’s a time and place for Major Lazer and it’s not in my ears on my bike, on a hill.

Those are partial truths.

Music hurts. It throbs in my heart. I feel it in my calves and toes.

All of it. It rings through my past and present and spoken word, mostly, doesn’t.

It’s not depression or sadness that causes this, but something else bigger inside of my soul,and while it forces me to create barriers, I wouldn’t change it for any quantity of books.