When we broke up, I never thought I’d be back.
I certainly didn’t plan to pen these words to you, my heart on my stylus.
Figuratively, I tossed you under the bus.
Literally, a South Carolina dumpster.
Some of you had been with me since childhood.
Your songs brought excess baggage.
Some of you were damaged goods.
Scratched and even warped.
I was a man on the move, lusting after the sleek, the dazzling, the compact.
Over the years, you’d gained weight, Vinyl.
By the time the 90s rolled around, you weighed me down.
During the past three decades, I’ve been amazingly unfaithful.
(Rest assured, not with any of our old friends–Cassette or Eight-Track.)
My infidelities leaned to high-fidelity.
In fact and fantasy, I was a digital man.
But I can admit now, I was never quite…complete after our split.
I don’t know if you know it, but I still saw you around.
At garage sales lost among kids clothes and Happy Meal toys.
Skulking around dirty antique malls.
Piled up in a corner at the Goodwill store.
I saw you. Sometimes tossed a buck your way.
And wondered what if might be like to…reconnect.
I told myself too much time had passed.
My Bluetooth speakers would never understand.
But then one day I saw you at the Barnes and Noble store.
Fresh pressings, dressed up in designer cellophane, looking splendid in the light.
Selling yourself for more than $25 a pop.
Like something cheap.
It bothered me that so many of you were languishing in back alleys while others were trolling the upscale boutiques.
I decided then and there to come back to you.
If you’d have me.
I bought an inexpensive turntable of good quality.
I brought your Living Stereo sides home for drinks.
I found Mancini and Peter, Paul and Mary, and April Wine.
Bach and Rachmaninov and Haydn.
I took Chet Atkins for a spin, and fell in love with Glen Campbell all over again.
And how many more names you go by, the love of my life.
The Crusaders and George Benson.
KISS and Iron Maiden and Sabbath.
The Rolling Stones.
And Jackie Gleason’s Orchestra.
Your voice still has the rich, mellow depth I remember.
Your laugh has a crackle and your turns are graceful as before.
You and me, we’re like an old married couple who never lost their groove.
Welcome home, Vinyl.
I’ll never leave you again.