Friday, December 15, 2006

hop in, monkey

"Hop in, Monkey", he told an unseen child in the back seat of the car.

Tall with dark hair and a handsome face, his three words held me. All I could think was, I wish I could go back. Be that kid.

Maybe I was at one point, beyond the reach of my memory. It seems familiar somehow, but I can't bring it into any kind of focus.

I wish. I want. It's all I seem to do.

My father emailed me this morning.

"I would love to dialogue more with you; sometimes I feel that we could know each other so much better, but I realize this comes with time."

His words are so thick with cliche they're almost unrecognizeable.

With my Father things come in destructive, relentless waves and I'm angry. I have been since I can remember. Angry and sad. Sometimes I can't tell the difference. It's not that I'm mad that he left, or that he couldn't keep his promises, set an example for his kids, follow through with his plans, or be the adult. He can't help it. He's sick. I have no right to blame him. He did his best.

I guess I'm angry about the situation - that I've had to feel sorry for him and even as a small child, protect him. He does that to people. I don't think he knows he's doing it, but he plays on our sympathies, our guilt. I'm mad that I've spent so much time feeling guilty. I'm mad that I never got that father that my friends had and yet I still have to contend with his delusions that he raised me and that he can take credit for how well I've turned out.

I know someday, when he's dead, I'm going to feel terrible for all of this, but sadly that won't be much different from how I've always felt. I just wish I knew how to let it go.

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