Father’s Day (NSFW-L)

As it says in the title, this post may be slightly Not Safe For Work due to Language. While the piece I wrote for Mother’s Day may have seemed mean-spirited, it, at least, was fairly straightforward. While my relationship with my mother may have had its ups and downs, that was mainly due to her always being around, whether I wanted her to be or not. Spend enough time with me, and you will either grow to hate me, or I will come to despise you. It’s not intentional, it’s just sort of how it all works out. I never had to worry about that with my dad, as to this day, I have still never actually met the man. Everything I know about him comes from other people, and the only people whom I know that knew him are the family of my mother. I’m not saying that they’ve said only negative things about him, but it wasn’t their job to do so. I mean, they were on team My Mom after all. They did try to be fair, though, as best they could, but even stories of the man who bailed on me weren’t much in the way of knowing him.

I had some role models when I was growing up, men who filled in for my absent father. There was my grandfather, who set aside every Friday to spend time with me (and his leather slippers when I was teething); my best friend (Wart)’s dad, who made me feel welcome, and part of the family practically every other weekend between Kindergarten and the 6th Grade; my uncle, who was into nerdy stuff like computers, and who seemed to understand some of the stuff I was going through as I was growing up. They weren’t the same as having a dad, obviously, but they accepted the role that they must have obviously seen that I so desperately needed, and never made me feel as if there was something better that they could have been doing. And sure, I’ve had arguments with them, as I grew older, pitting the omniscience of youth against the rapidly diminishing patience of experience, but that was bound to happen, no matter who was modeling. I cannot help remembering one time when my girlfriend and I had split up for a while and I’d moved back into my grandparent’s house for about a month. My grandfather tried to offer me some advice which wasn’t really applicable at that time, and fired back that, despite all appearances to the contrary, I knew what I was doing, and would appreciate it if he got off my fucking back about it. I have since apologized, but I was right.

None, of this of course, has anything to do with my biological father. In thirty-five years, I’ve only ever almost met him precisely once. I suppose, considering that it is the earliest thing which I can remember, it’s no wonder that I’m so hung up on this.

I can’t remember what time of day it was, but the lights were on the house, so it was probably overcast. It was probably early afternoon. I was in the living room of the tiny two-bedroom house that my mother was renting from my great-grandmother, doing whatever it is that little kids do. I think my mother told me later that I was two or three years old, which would explain why that place seems so massive in my memory. Someone knocked on the door. and my mother lifted back the curtain and peeked outside to see who had come calling. The next thing I know, she is leading me quickly to my room, telling me that there is a “bad man at the door.” Once in my room, she ordered me to press my body up against the door as hard as I could, reiterating that there was a “bad man at the door.” I remember hearing raised voices, but I can’t recall exactly what was said. And then I heard my mom speaking to someone on the phone. I could tell the difference because everyone has a “phone voice.” I must have gotten bored, because the next thing I remember was that it had gotten dark, and that my grandfather had arrived. I remember hearing that the “bad man” had left, and that the sheriff had been called. And then my mother told me that everything was okay now. About a decade and a half later, I found out that the “bad man” had been my father, and that she was afraid that he was going to steal me away as a way of hurting her.

I have also heard stories of how my dad decided that he really didn’t want a kid, and there is a story wherein apparently my father tried to either end the pregnancy, my mother’s life, or both. My parents were divorced shortly after I was born.

Shortly before David was born, I looked up my father using the internet, and sent him a letter. I told him that he was going to be a grandfather, and that if he wanted to know his grandson, I would be happy to let him. I told him that I wasn’t looking for compensation for the eighteen years of child support he never paid, or an awkward attempt at some sort of father-son bond, if he wasn’t interested. Maybe, if he was interested, we could go and grab a beer, and introduce ourselves, but that would be the extent of it, if it was too awkward to contemplate more. It was possibly the most neutral, politic thing which I have ever written. And I never heard back from him. The following summer, his  brother, my Uncle Bob, contacted me, and let me know why. Apparently, my father suffers from severe depression, and was recovering from some sort of heart problems. He’d seen the letter, but couldn’t bear to open it (if I was uncertain up to that point that he and I were related, that bit of information forever confirmed our genetic bond), and left it to my uncle to see what was inside. My dad was afraid of me. Of the very notion of me.

It turns out that my father still didn’t want to meet me. An offhand comment from my mother which was misunderstood, apparently led him to believe that we were not related. To even consider speaking to me, he wanted a paternity test. I cannot blame him for feeling overwhelmed by everything, or not having had an amicable relationship with my mother. I get it. But here’s the thing, I don’t care. Not anymore. I know that he will never read this, and that the only time I will ever see him will be at his funeral, unless he’s already dead (though I would imagine that his brother might have informed me). So I’m going to just let it all out, everything that I need to tell him. If you don’t approve of offensive language, or aren’t interested in eavesdropping on so personal a message, feel free to stop reading here.

Dad,

I’ve given up ever trying to get to know you, even just man to man. I get why you left, and why the thought of children apparently terrified you. Trust me, I had to face that myself eight years ago. But here’s the thing: Fuck you for not being there! If you thought that your wife was so fucking terrible, why would you leave me there to suffer? Did you know that I had the chance to bail? While Flor was pregnant, and we were arguing the merits of bringing a child into the world on the amount of money we could generate, she gave me an out: she told me that if I wanted to run, if I didn’t want to be dad (or couldn’t be one), she would take the baby, and never contact me again. No child support, no obligation. Nothing. I had the fucking out, man, and I couldn’t take it. Because of you. I didn’t know how good of a father I would be, having never fucking had one in the first place, but I sure as shit knew what it was like to grow up without a dad. I weighed everything that was wrong with me: my trust issues, my fear of abandonment, my bi-polar disorder, the fact that every relationship that I had ever had up until that point had ended in hostilities. I had no reason to stay, other than the fact that I knew that I had to. Fuck you for not even trying.

This is the last time that I will worry about you on Father’s Day. You weren’t ever my father, hell- you weren’t even a dad. You were just a goddamned sperm donor! So, instead of paying tribute to the sprawling mythology which I’ve built up around you, I’m going a different route. I’ll celebrate this day a little differently from now on. You see, not being a dad, that just makes you a Mother Fucker. And that means that it’s only Motherfucker’s Day, which is the best that you’re ever going to get from me. I’m done with you. You had your fucking chance, and you blew it! I’m not the coolest person, or even the best son (see my post for Mother’s Day), but I am something worth knowing.

I hope you continue rotting away in misery, that every waking moment is consumed with regrets for things you never got around to. I hope that you are alone. That you die knowing that no one loves you, that no one even likes you all that much. Not that we ever shared anything more than a fucking surname, but you and I are fucking through! 

Happy Motherfucker’s Day!

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