• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 09
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Tale Of The Tape

In the attic, she picked it up.
With two fingers, afraid it might bite.

"What is this?"
And it took only a glance.

"That is a cassette tape."
I was met with bemusement; confusion.

"Is that what was used in..."
"...the old days? Yes."

"How exactly?"
She looked at me, expecting an explanation, a demonstration.

Having nothing to play it on.
No choice but to resort to memories, to nostalgia.

"Imagine a time before The Internet.
Before websites.
Before downloads and drones.
Sometime before the birth of CD players, but after gramophones.

The Summer of 1986.
Try to picture a teenage girl.
Alone, but content in her bedroom.
Her first radio cassette player.
The luxury of being able to record whatever she wanted.
Relentless radio play.
Music all day.
Ladies in red.
Papas being told not to preach.
Red skies out of reach."


Tale Of The Tape

"What does all that mean?"
She doesn't comprehend.
"I'm referring to a summer I never wanted to end."

"What else?"
"Trips to the seaside; the amusement parks; visits to the zoo.
But nothing can affect you the way music can do."

"So what would you put this down to?"
"The Tale Of The Tape."
"The Soundtrack of a Summer."
"The best year of my life."

I look at her, wondering if she'll ever understand.
I look down at the tape, faded and brown.
Not until the tears fall.
Then she'll understand.