Vangelis - Blade Runner Soundtrack.
This post is for my father. I had to use a picture from the Internet because I don’t actually own this on vinyl.
I never really understood my father and he never really understood me. He was a practical man. I’m a bit of a creative dreamer. He was a teacher who relayed facts. I fell in love with music and movies at an early age. But my father loved me enough to take myself and a friend to see Blade Runner when it came out. We needed an accompanying adult to get in to the R-rated film. Dad understood enough about teenaged boys to know that actually sitting with us would have been uncool. He sat alone in the back of the theater while we watched from the front. My dad was mystified by the movie and probably didn’t enjoy the soundtrack much either. I know he didn’t like the violence.
Blade Runner quickly became one of my favorite movies. It also contains what I consider to be one of the greatest moments of dialogue in the history of film. As replicant Roy Batty dies he speaks to Harrison Ford’s Rick Deckard, “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I’ve watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.”
That happens when anyone dies, though. Not exploding starships, of course, but everyone has special memories of moments that no one else knows. When the person is lost the memory is gone forever. What memories did my father take with him? He was a park ranger. Did he cherish a particular sunrise shining through a dew-covered spiderweb? He was a woodworker. Was he especially fond of the texture of a newly sanded surface? As a teacher did he relish the end of a satisfying school year? Or the start of a new one? He was a good man. The kind of father who’d sit in the back of a movie theater alone so his son could have some normal teenaged fun with a friend.
My father spent more than a year confined to a wheelchair in a nursing home. He wanted nothing more than to go home. He begged and pleaded and was unable to understand why that just wasn’t possible. Thanks to hospice care, he finally came home this week. He spent the last two days of his life in a bed in the living room that he had paneled, painted, remodeled and floored with his own hands. Soft music played at his bedside. The occasional Jethro Tull Christmas song courtesy of myself. Christmas music in July because my mother doesn’t know how to make a playlist and the iPod was set on shuffle. I found the music calming and reassuring. I hope he did too.
I’ll get back to posting pictures of my record collection in a couple of days for no other reason than I enjoy doing it. But today, this one’s for my father.
Goodbye, and thank you, Dad.
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