When I was five, I believed you were a superhero and the best in everything you did. You had my world revolving around gaining every single bit of attention I could get from the awesome you. Damn, I was punned.
You were the best musician-bass guitar player, amazing badass tattoos, wonderful singing voice. A rock star! Hey, you were a good cook, too. To top it off, you were the best driver and car salesman in the world. Everybody said you looked good and were so young to father a child – you had them all believing you had me at eighteen when you did when Mom was seventeen and you, well, twenty-two (or three?).
See, you got to be proud your baby grew up pretty smart and figured things in a different light. I saw and followed the beam called reality that is beyond your fantasy world. You took me to your beer-drinking sessions when I was barely four. You hopped from job to job because of negligence and-see, the real adults, they call it laziness and irresponsibility.
I used to feel horrible for having been born out of wedlock and to be coming from a broken family, with my parents so young and separated. I perfectly recall each of them girls you brought home to Grandmama’s house (because you never really had your own place). At least three of them’s a Cathy – but, I specifically recall the bitchiest Cathy with whom you did drugs with. I was seven at the time she was your chic and when I called to say I missed you, you said to me:
Honey, listen. Never call this house again.
Because I said so.
Wow. I am not being emotional or remorseful – please don’t get me wrong. Those words broke the seven-year-old girl, sure. But, they also made the woman I am today. Thanks to you, I grew up tough and brave.
I have to say great choice on my Mommy, though. While she never emphasized, I grew up to recognize she was beautiful, strong, and just naive when you had her. She learned, too. We both did and we both fought.
These days, you call me a lot and as I am not to upset Mommy. I pick up, be polite as she taught me. But, Daddy, I got to admit it felt terrific when we last talked –
Baby, I miss you. Will you meet me, at least?
“I am sorry, Daddy. I am terribly busy.”
Forgive me if I was a jerk or if I have never been a good father.
“Wow. You knew that? Holy macaroni. I need a drink. Will you buy me a beer?”