The Tape Recorder Magic

In this memory, I’m seven years old. In summer, my two best friends come over to my family’s new home for a sleepover. It’s our first overnight stay together, and therefore, our excitement is over the moon.

Just as evening blossoms into night, the three of us are playing in my family’s bedroom, running and dancing around, when a black radio box on the windowsill catches my attention. The radio box is equipped with a tape recorder.

“Hey, look!” I call out to my friends. “We have a tape recorder here. Why don’t we make a radio program?”

I press the recording button and start speaking in front of the microphone. I don’t know what to say, so I ramble some random things, and my friends respond with some random answers from behind me.

We hit the play button to listen to what we’ve just created. Our talk has been silly, but listening to it from the speaker, it sounds absolutely silly. And funny.

We decide to do it again, and this time, we leave the recording on as we go back to play in the room. Once, my mother comes in to tell us to take a bath, handing me my fresh underwear, which I place on the windowsill. I forget about them soon enough as the room grows madder and our laughter grows louder.

“Who left panties here?”

My friend speaks directly into the microphone, picking up my forlorn underwear.

“That is mine!” I run to the tape recorder, retrieving my underwear from my friend. “Why is it here? So embarrassing! I can’t believe it!”

Such nonsensical talking continues until finally, my mother comes to the room again, telling us we must take a bath. We name the madness recorded on the tape “A Family’s Secret.”