Monday, April 17, 2006

something was missing

My father called me at work to tell me he was going to be in town this weekend and to ask me if I could do lunch. He told me how well business was going now.

“Things are really looking up”, as they so often are, with him. He talked about how the wrinkles in his new marriage are being ironed out. I scanned data outputs at my desk, half listening.

“Mmhmmm? That’s great, Dad.”

After a while he asked me how I was doing.

“Fine”, I told him. But then I stopped what I was doing, put down my pencil and absently ran a finger over the keyboard in front of me.

“I went to New York City a couple of weeks ago for a girls weekend. I really love that city.”

“Well, you remember how much I used to go there”, he said.

“No, actually I don’t.”

“Yes you do. Remember? I used to date that Jewish woman who lived in Manhattan?”

There was a vague flicker. “Did she have one leg or something?” I asked.

“No, Rachel”, there was a flash of frustration, "she was missing a hand.”

“Oh. I knew something was missing.”

“Anyway, I used to visit her all the time. She was supposed to come to see me in Vancouver, but that was just a few weeks before I met Sasha”, he chuckled, his annoyance melting instantaneously. Sasha was his second wife.

“Oh, that’s nice”, I responded, picking up my pencil. He didn’t seem to hear me.

“You know your father - always a cassanova.”

“No Dad, I don’t, and maybe that’s why.”

He stumbled to find his next words, but only for a moment, blinders back on. I listened for a couple more minutes.

“Listen, I gotta get going Dad."

"Yeah, ok. No problem. It was nice to talk to you. Always nice to talk to my daughter."

"I’ll talk to you soon, ok?”

“Sure.” He said. ”It’s great to hear things are going so well for you.”


Lx said...

oh yeh. that last line--made me snicker. how attentive he is...


Bwana said...

Is this the inevitable Path of all Paters? I know that the attention span of most men only extends as far as their ... egos, so when they think they are delivering good news to the women they love, they tend to think that it is the most sought message of the century.

I think the only part of my body I desperately will need when I am old are my ears, so that I can hear all my daughter will tell me about her day.

Rachel said...

I don't think it is the inevitable path at all. Its my father's 'thing'. His downs are even harder to deal with than his ups. I don't think it's his fault. I just don't think he has it in him, you know? Doesn't make it any less sad though, but now that I'm all grown-up, I can handle it better (usually).

My guess is if you're asking the question, you don't have this problem and you won't.

You two are both probably great Dads, although we all have our own set of problems I guess.