Videotape

Author’s Note: I wrote this while listening to Radiohead’s “Videotape” and recommend that it be read while listening to it also (if you want to).

I step out of the cab just as I did years before, but this time I moved slower.

I remember holding you in my arms as you left me whispering a tear-filled, “I love you. I’m so sorry,” again and again.

I look out across the dry park grass while white winds wisp past—time hasn’t been kind to here.

I remember screaming, “NO!” as you fell to the ground—the shot still ringing through the rain.

I walk to that spot where you fell watching a lone willow as it shivers—now dry, dark, and dead.

I remember your smile as you looked back at me and mouthed, “Yes, it is,” before you pulled the trigger.

I look down at the maroon weeds and brown grass sprawling around that spot next to the stump.

I remember running from the cab calling out your name saying, “Please, don’t do this! Come back to me! It’s going to be ok!”

I sit down on the stump of the cypress under which we met as I adjust my coat and stifle tears.

I remember seeing you approach that cypress and telling the cab driver to stop as I was already getting out.

I look up to the bleak, gray skies drifting away from this parched, lonely sod to another lost soul.

I remember grabbing my coat and leaving the videotape running as I ran through the rain to catch the nearest cab.

I kneel down digging a hole in the dry dirt with my hands and pull that videotape from my coat.

I remember putting in the videotape in the VCR and seeing your makeup-smeared face appear as you said “This is my way of saying goodbye.”

I look inside the videotape one more time at the hundreds of feet of film left unused as I bury it.

I remember finding the videotape in our starter home apartment next to your will and a cypress leaf as I got back from work.

I walk back to the cab just as I did years before, but this time there were no sirens.

Only the sound of the cab waiting for me and the wind leaving me behind.

“Where to now, sir?” the cab driver asks.

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