I will likely regret this post.
I went over to my aunt’s house tonight for a celebratory dinner in honor of my uncle for a patent he recently had approved. I always enjoy going over to see them and this time my other aunt and GramBe were there as well. So was my birthfather, who I haven’t seen in 11+ years or spoken to in 4. The last time I spoke with him (right before moving out west in an attempt to build a bridge for us to meet each other halfway on later in life) he ended up hurling expletives at my ma’s character and hung up on me. Speaking of 12 year old’s stomping up the stairs in a tantrum…. It wasn’t too awkward when I walked into the kitchen, where he happened to be. His wife and I exchanged a very warm hello and my aunt got to work on trying to lovingly stuff me with food. I poured the Grey Goose.
I am trying to be objective here, as I am aware of the complexity of the developing situation as he and I made eye contact. There are reasons for everything everyone does but they are not always right. That aside….a handshake and:
“Hey, kiddo, it’s been a long time.”
Remember that phone call 4 years ago? Yeeeeaaaaa. You hung up on me after saying some really nasty shit about my mother. You can stop trying to alpha handshake me, by the way, you aren’t impressing anybody and I can feel the flimsy pulse of your weak heart in my palm. For the sake of being civil and the fact that it is my auntie’s house, I will spare your gums the anxiety of being separated from all of your front teeth. Anybody have a knife to cut the tension in this kitchen? It feels like the whole world is staring at us, holding their breath.
“Oh, Grey Goose, I see. That’s the better kind.”
“Yea, I don’t drink beer. I drink vodka. It’s quicker.”
“I don’t drink beer either. Well, aside from the one I am having now.”
I roll my eyes and stare at the floor, recalling how many times you have lost your license and how many cars you have wrecked due to drunk driving. In my mind, I can hear you kicking all those beer cans down the lonely road that has surely been your life. Stop trying to make it appear as if we are similar based on a trivial drink of choice.
We ended up essentially by ourselves in the kitchen, which pissed me off that everyone had left us there, some of them having left intentionally as if there is some great healing to take place between he and I. Who the hell is anybody to try and orchestrate any semblance of reunification between us? What the hell do I have to say to this person who does not understand the concept of what it is to be a man? Not a damn thing but he tries to make more small talk. Spare me the speech on how he may be trying in his own way or slowly trying to create a comfortable enough environment for himself in which to open up in. It’s not about him anymore. Not interested. He had 25 years to try that.
“So you really seemed to like the west, right?”
What the fuck kind of question is that, deadbeat? I lived there for 3 years after having spent almost 7 years moving out there and trying to stay out there. Yea, it was ok. Notice me looking away and keeping my answers short. Take a hint yet? Leave me the hell alone, I am not here to speak with you, nor do I plan on ever doing so again. You are sauced, your eyes are somewhat red; yes, I notice. You slur when bragging about the mac ‘n’ cheese you brought to dinner. I don’t really care about what food you can make.
“Your brother showed me the house you both have now. It’s nice……glad it’s two stories.”
“Well if it were one story it’d be really small.”
“Yes, well, it’d accommodate the bedroom’s just fine and be big enough. It’s a nice enough place for us until we leave in July.”
See me taking out my phone and texting every time you speak? What does that mean to you? If you can see far enough through the fog of your mild drunkenness, you will notice my cold shoulder. Piss off.
I avoid you the rest of the night, as to steer clear of anymore petty, asinine water-cooler talk. The last thing you ask, 45 minutes later, is if I am leaving (I have my hoodie on). I reply with a grunt, more than any actual words, swelling with such fury inside that if I don’t get out of the house, I feel like I will light it up in flames from the look I give you across the kitchen. Where is the fucking door?
Do I have Daddy issues? No, I have had an amazing father since I was 5 years old. Did I have issues growing up? Hell yes, and it was not easy for me, my dad, or my ma. But we got through it, and more importantly he stuck it out, teaching me everyday what it is to be a man in the truest sense of the word. Even when it isn’t popular and you feel like you are having to do it by yourself while going uphill.
My dad married a woman with 3 kids and the normal emotional baggage that comes from a previously abusive relationship. I have an amazing relationship with him and my ma; I have for a very long time. I have nothing to say to the sperm donor and won’t ever have anything to say. He burned the bridge and I have no interest in returning to it’s ashes ever again. I hope the day he returns to those ashes, he sees the fossilized remains of what could have been and the forgiveness that could have come from it. It’s no longer my problem.