The piano that I often helped to polish stood gleaming against the wall; the stool covered in red cloth pushed underneath. During the day the piano was not played but stood in pride of place with photos adorning its mahogany top. Most days, after his arrival home from work, he would open the piano to reveal the black and white keys. He would sit down with a smile of pleasure and move his fingers along the keys to create sound. At times he would place sheet music on the music rack, but often the song flowed through his fingers by memory.
I now realise that playing the piano after work was my dad’s way to relax after a stressful day. His pre-dinner drink would be on hand as played the tunes of the songs he loved. This was his time alone – a time he took even over the weekend. The sound of the piano would echo throughout the whole house and the silence that came when the sound stopped was the signal for supper time.
I wonder where the music took him as his fingers moved over the keys. Did the haunting ballads take him to still, faraway places? Did the jives and the cha-chas take him to the dance halls? Did certain songs take him to places in his past? Did the music make him think of the people he had in his life?
The piano lived with my dad until the day he died. Up until then it still stood gleaming against the wall, waiting to be played. Now it remains a memory of my father and my childhood.
Do you have any memories of piano players?
© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
9this memory of my father was sparked by Kellie Elmore’s FWF image prompt)