"Art is a kind of illness." — Giacomo Puccini

Little Fluffy Clouds


I came across this a few days ago. It is one of the first songs I ever heard in the genre that would come to be called Trance. Trance music hit the scene in the mid-90s as the hard-driving beats of Techno started to fade a bit (except in Europe), and House music was just taking center stage. It is characterized by low percussion and repetitive electronic music. If vocals are part of the piece, they are woven into the richness of Trance. Trance became popular among the late-night set who danced until dawn. I loved it then, and run to it now.

The first time I heard this song, it was on a mixtape made by my friend Stefan Romero. He was a beautiful man. We met at The End Up on a Sunday morning. I noticed him right away, but he was so beautiful—Italian and Puerto Rican heritage, I couldn’t imagine he would be interested in me. After a while, he struck up a conversation. He said he liked how I was dancing and that I have really muscular legs. That was funny to hear since I was wearing long green jeans, black boots, and had lost my shirt somewhere along the way. Nevertheless, I was put at ease. We decided to take off. I tracked down my lost t-shirt and jeans, and we headed to Hayes Valley for tea. There’s a lot more to this story that I’ll keep for myself, but we ended up dating on and off for a few years. At some point along the way he gave me a mixtape with some really cool music on it, including Little Fluffy Clouds.

It had been a while since I had seen him when I got a call from his friend Juan who told me Stefan was very sick, and I should come to see him. I went over that evening or the next, and he was very sick, indeed. He was dying. I sat with him for 3 or 4 hours. He was mostly sleeping, but at one point, he asked me for a Coca Cola. I wasn’t even sure he realized it was me, but I went across the street to get him a Coca Cola. I stayed a while later, but then had to leave to get some sleep before work the next day. I kissed him on his sweating forehead and left, eyes welling up as I realized this may be the last time I see him. He died a couple of days later. He wasn’t the first man I loved to die, and would not be the last, but to this day, I hold him close in my heart. So whenever I hear this song, I think of him. I think of that morning at The End Up, and the mixtape he gave me which is safely packed away with my most precious sentimental possessions.

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