A young daughter's desire to know more about her deceased rock musician father.
|"Eddie ate dirt, good bye Eddie," I replied, open strumming Eddie's Martin guitar, then positioning my fingers in a C chord, "Now, you try."
Piper sat next to me on the couch, balancing her own guitar on her lap, "Like this?" She mimicked my strumming expertly.
"You got it, Sweet Pea."
"Mom? How did Daddy die?"
I didn't want to have this conversation so soon. Right before he died, Eddie was happier than he had been in years. His solo album, Legacy, went to number one on the charts and Piper was due in weeks. Things were looking up after his acrimonious dismissal from Cloud Neun, the band he founded and fronted a decade ago. When he didn't return home after attending a party sponsored by his label, I drove to his studio. There were whiskey bottles, beer cans and evidence of all manner of pharmaceuticals strewn about. I found him in a closet suspended from the hanger rail by a red scarf around his neck. He wore a white negligee and black patent leather high-heeled boots. Heartbroken, I cradled him in my arms, sobbing. His body felt lukewarm.
"Your father was a gifted musician and songwriter. But, he had his demons."
"Problems. Like, addictions, insecurity, mental illness; in spite of all that, he was the most generous, gracious, intelligent person ever. Your father was a good man. Never forget that."
"I wished I could see him." Her face turned wistful.
"He was so happy when he found out you were a girl." I gently touched the tip of her cute little nose. That made her smile. She looks so much like Eddie whenever she smiles.