Christopher David is a musician from Florida who has performed in various punk and hardcore bands throughout the past fifteen years. On top of this, he’s recorded solo music under the names City Medicine, Chris Donaldson, and Christopher David. His works under the Christopher David moniker are all self-released, limited-run CD-Rs that feature the sort of quiet music that Joshua Minsoo Kim refers to as “non-music,” which was discussed in The Wire (Issue 431) and in the first issue of Tone Glow. Joshua Minsoo Kim and Christopher David talked on the phone on July 31st to discuss his works under this name, his record labels Hologram and Drugged Conscience, his work as a nanny, and more.
What was it like being a nanny for the same group of kids for an extended number of years?
It was pretty crazy because my wife had worked for them for four years before that and it was seven for me, so I’ve been with the little girl since she was eight months old.
Oh, your wife was a nanny as well?
Yeah, just for a handful of families before that. She’s the one who got me into nannying—she said I should try it—and I ended up working for this family while she wanted to become an RN. I said, “These guys are gonna die when you leave, why don’t I just take over since I’ve had some nannying experience.”
It’s really intimate because you feel obligated to care for these kids as if they were your own, but you’re also an employee so you’re stuck in this position where you want to keep your job so you do exactly what the parents say. There’s this nagging feeling of knowing what’s right for them because you’re around them a lot more than the parents. It’s a really fucked up dynamic. I’m hoping I don’t have to do that again when it’s all over (laughter). It’s really personal, there’s no clocking in. And those kids are on my mind every day, even now.
Is there a specific time you remember aside from all this stuff with COVID where you wanted to do something for these kids that the parents disagreed with?
Yeah, these parents were really into the whole helicopter parenting thing. The day was just shot, man. I’d get there at 6 in the morning, get them ready for school, pick them up at 2, shuffle them around the city from 2:30 to 7 at night between piano and karate lessons and tutoring and all this shit. The kids never got to just be kids and, at some point, not having a personality or being alone with yourself is gonna affect you more than the education you have.
These kids never know how to spend their free time—they’re used to having something put in front of their face 24/7. You couldn’t put them out in the yard and let them dig a hole and pretend that the princess was there or something (laughter), they didn’t have that creative spark that boredom forces you to have. To their detriment, we’ve learned a lot about what we want to do with our kid.