My Daddy could fix ANYTHING.
When I was just a toddler, I would sit on the couch, swing my legs back and forth like a metronome,and listen to the amazing miracle that was the Stereo. My little ears began to distinguish the different instruments, the orchestral suites, the various composers...we played a complex version of Name That Tune. Was ist das? Eine Kleine Nacht Music, Papa. Wunderbar, Liebchen! He had this ritual....Slide the record out of the cardboard cover, hold it gently by the edges of the white paper sleeve....remove the sleeve and balance the LP between index fingers....shake ever so slightly to dislodge any dust....place carefully on the felt turntable...lower the needle onto the vinyl surface...and voila! MUSIC!
I imitated this ritual with my very own (imaginary) record player.
One day, a visitor came to the apartment. A visitor of Some Importance. My Mother dressed me in some scratchy, ruffly dress and shiny shoes. I was already miserable. Now I had to BEHAVE, and Be Polite. Beginning to sulk, I sat on the couch and hummed. The conversation was academic, something to do with the Engineering classes my Father was taking at the University. I endured the "oh what a SWEET little girl" tossed in my direction and decided I would play by myself in order to avoid getting called by ALMYNAMESATONCE and losing privileges. I knelt in front of the couch, perused my imaginary record collection and selected something appropriate. (Peter and the Wolf, probably.) I went through the motions. Slid the record from the sleeve, banished the dust, lowered the needle and closed my eyes to hear the opening strains. THUMP! The Visitor sat down heavily on the couch. I began to SCREAM hysterically. He of course, leapt up from the couch as I wailed to my Father, he's crushed my plattenspieler, papa! Pointing an accusatory finger, I sobbed. Broken. I'll never hear music again....
The Visitor is ashen, shaking. Obviously never been in the company of a distraught, rather dramatic toddler. My Mother is furious. She tries to explain that it is IMAGINARY, but she does not speak Swiss and cannot find the appropriate Hoch Deutsch for "my little daughter has a rather active imagination."
My Daddy kneels before the couch. Puts on his reading glasses. Examines the crushed remains of my favorite invisible toy. Takes out his IMAGINARY TOOLS and spends about three minutes clucking and explaining to me in French ( so that those other people in the room who cannot see or hear the fabulous plattenspieler cannot understand us....) just what he is attempting to do. VOILA! He stands up. I clap my hands and try the Mozart. (He has explained that the Tchaichovsky is a lost cause, but perhaps I could choose another selection....) I close my eyes and HUM. Perfectement, papa! Merci!He switches to Swiss and sternly orders me to keep my toys in my ROOM where they will not be in the way of company. Asks me to apologize to our Esteemed Visitor. I curtsy and flee.
My Daddy could fix anything.
Except Lung Cancer.
I miss him Daily.