$8 Pitchers

A mixtape,

Forgotten in the tape deck of an old, traded-in car.

The label said $8 Pitchers.

I returned, explained, pleaded.

But when you trade something in,

Be prepared to lose it forever.

The songs still play.

In order.

In my head.

He was passionate.

Accepting.

He didn’t care what others thought.

He listened like no other.

I wanted to be those things too.

I wanted to let him in so he could show me how.

But I was afraid.

To be myself.

To be let down.

To reveal an entrance into my heart.

Those damn $8 pitchers.

That’s what compromised my armor.

Never once batting an eyelash,

He took me in.

His eyes penetrated my soul.

He understood my heartache,

My fears,

MY EXCUSES.

The mixtape took

Time

Patience

Devotion

And most of all,

Heart

Everything I wasn’t capable of giving.

Now, when I hear them:

“Einstein on the Beach”

“All I Want”

“Iris”

“Crash”

I think of him.

I think of the $8 pitchers and the courage I felt.

To be myself.

To let him in.

To give him a chance.

But eight dollars wasn’t enough.

Because the courage was fleeting.

And I let him go.

Just like a traded-in car,

With a mixtape still in the tape deck.

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