It was a birthday present for my daughter. It’s a small black box and when you open it you see the record player inside. Put a record on and the disk reaches over the edge of the box like a dinner plate on an end table. This should be in a dorm or a kid’s bedroom. But I mean one from the 60s, before college kids could find or afford pricey stereo equipment.

My wife and I have two boxes of records we listened to when we were young. Hearing them is a nostalgia trip for us and I don’t know what it means for Sophie. Maybe she just likes records.

I listened to my old Bruce Springsteen record, the Wild the Innocent and the E-Street Shuffle. The record spins and the needle bobs on the gentle warps in the disk.  I see the song on the record because a black circle marks the end of it and the needle rides the grooves until it gets there.

A record is a physical thing and I think that’s why I’ve never loved a CD like I love this Springsteen album. It’s a glorious package, the album cover with the art you see every time you play it, and the record inside that embodies the music.

You hold it in your hands like a sacrament – touching only the edges – and lay it on the turntable then gently touch the stylus to the beginning of the record where it floats for a moment until it is seized by the groove and you hear that pop. Then the magic begins.

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