City Lounge: London (Book One, Chapter Ten: The Old Music Shop)

Chapter Ten: The Old Music Shop:

-Paul-

I stopped in my tracks.

“What is it?” Sophie asked.

“There is one more place that we have to stop by before we go to the antique store.”

“Where?”

“That old music store around here. You know the one. The place with all the vinyl records.”

Sophie gave me a weird look. “Think that place is still around?”

“Only one way to see.” I shoved my hands into my pockets and began walking further down before turning left. Sophie ran to catch up with me.

“Paul, wait!” she yelled. She caught up to me before I crossed the street.

“Do you even remember the name of the store?” she asked.

“Nah,” I said. “But I remember what it looks like.” I looked through the filling street as I talked. Let’s see…  There should be a buliding that looks like a garage with dirty-looking paint on the front. There was a giant faded Beatles poster in the window too.

“Hey Sophie, keep your eyes out for a faded Beatles poster, yeah?” I said.

“Okay,” she said. We looked at the various old-looking stores on either side of us.”Isn’t that your music store?” Sophie asked, pointing ahead. I looked up and spotted that faded Beatles poster from their Help album in the window. I felt like jumping up and down like a little kid inside.

“You have always had good eyes, Sophie,” I said. I pushed ahead of the crowd to my beloved music store. Somebody must be in love with me today because this store was still around and it was open today.

“Hello beautiful,” I said. My fingers rubbed up against the cold glass. I breathed heavily as I remembered the first time I found this place. It was by accident then. Sophie and I were walking by to the antique shop when I spotted that old, faded Beatles poster out of the corner of my eye. I literally had to back up and stare. Sophie tried in vain to pull me along, but I ended up waling inside.

Today, I walked into the store like a zombie.

“Paul?” Sophie asked as she followed me into the store. Not even the smell of mothballs could turn me away. It felt like coming home. I held out my arms.

“It feels so good to be back,” I said. Sophie patted me on the shoulder.

“Easy there, boy,” she said. I walked straight for the vinyl aisle. I don’t care what everyone says, vinyl is the best thing in the world and it’s making a comeback. CD’s and cassettes don’t do it for me. When I was in high school, I saved my money to buy an LP player. All of my mates thought I was weird, but I didn’t care.

I ran my fingers along the tops of the vinyl sleeves. They all shouted me to take them with me. This store sold this babies for a low price too. I would need five of my mates to stop me from destroying my bank account. Don’t worry, I am not tempted today. I will be good, I hope.

I happened to look up and see Sophie looking through the records with the same excited look on her face as mine. She tried to swallow back her drool as she ran her fingers along the tops. My ex glanced up at me with a sheepish smile on her face. I smiled and shook my head. It’s okay, girl. I know how you feel.

The lack of people inside made it feel like this was our own private store. If this store went out of business, I would need a truck to pick up all of these beauties. They can’t stop calling out to me to take them with them. I wish I could take you home with me, but I don’t have the space or the money.

“How long are we staying in–?” Sophie began to ask.

“Shhh!” I hissed. She opened her mouth again, but I held up my hand.

“Hush, woman!” I said. She tried to speak again, but I cut her off.

“Hush! And just enjoy the air of this place,” I said. Sophie tried to open her mouth again, but I cut her off again. She finally got the gest and shut her mouth.

“Thank you,” I mouthed. My attention turned back to those plastic-wrapped beauties. Funny, I think the same thing happened on our first date too. I was lost in look at such a beautiful treasure that I had to make Sophie shut up long enough to enjoy it. I don’t remember how long we stayed there either.

Another thought crossed my head as I circled back to the Beatles section. None of my other exes understood my love of vinyl. “How could you love such an outdated this?” they would ask. Outdated? Vinyl knew went out of style. These selfish, spoiled, fucked up brats today can’t enjoy the quality of real music. Everything is always auto-tuned, plastic, fake, and the same. I can’t stand it anymore. When I play my DJ gigs, I always go for the vinyl. I just love the smell and feel of it.

“Finding anything you like today?” a voice asked behind us. I looked and saw the clerk trying to look at what where my hand was. I drew back my hand and cleared my throat.

“You have so much treasure,” I said in a low voice. I looked over at Sophie who was smiling and shrugging. The clerk smiled and clapped her hands together.

“Feel free to take your time,” she said. She turned and walked back to the front desk. I turned back to the precious Beatles section. I bet that clerk was laughing at me– again. They can all laugh at me all they want. Nothing will get between my love of vinyl and me. I pouted as I flipped to the Beatles’ Let it Be album. I might not need love, but I can’t survive without my music on vinyl. They can keep their auto-tune crap; give me that before vinyl any day.

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