“National Disgrace”; Atmosphere
Let me know if the YouTube’s missing…
Do you miss your father? Sometimes it feels like there’s a Whole missing from my life. For most of my life I haven’t mourned for what I don’t have because I don’t know what I didn’t have. Then occasionally someone says something and it turns out I’ve been walking for miles just a few degrees off North… all this time I thought I was on the same life course as Others, but here I am way over here and there you are way over there.
Sometimes it will occur to me the reason I can’t throw as well as someone else is because they had a father who taught them. Or I’ll watch my step-brother skate and I’ll tell myself I’m a fool for not being able to skate as smoothly and I’ll ask myself “how..? Oh, right, he has a father”.
I don’t know if I miss my father or if I’ve been missing the idea of Having a father. I know I didn’t have one, but I still write things like “the cult my father ran” or “my father was borne in Scotland”. I know there’s nothing I know which he has taught me… at least directly. Indirectly he has taught me many lessons.
I’ve said this before, but it seems as though everything I’ve learned has been through trial and error… when I was thirteen my mothers hairdresser told me to get rid of my acne by putting rubbing alcohol on my face and lighting a match… I was in the bathroom with the rubbing alcohol and matches in my hand when I decided it Could be a bad idea.
I didn’t even know how to properly grow a beard until last year. I thought there was something wrong with me because after letting the hair grow for a month it wouldn’t look anything like a full beard so, discouraged, I’d shave it off. I’ve discreetly asked people for tips in the past, but last year I Googled for instructions.
One of the very first posts I made was a joke about growing a beard… since then I get at Least two Search Engine Referrals every day asking “how do I grow a beard?”, so I know I’m one of many Fatherless Sons looking for lessons on Manhood online.
A friend of mine was over tonight. The beard thing came to mind so I asked him… he has grown one in the past, but not really. He just let his facial hair grow, he didn’t know how to take care of it so he shaved it off. He never really had a father either, but he was aggressive in life where I was passive… he ran head first into the world while I waited for some instruction and annoyed people with my blankness.
But here we are together… him, forty-years old and recovering from addiction; adopted but trying to connect with his Blood Family; precariously hanging on to his girlfriend and her kids, while trying to be his daughters father. And here’s Me, thirty-seven; still trying to connect with my sisters while recovering from a mental disease; living alone on disability, dating a woman who has two kids…
Last Friday night I was showing some photos to my girlfriend and somehow my father came up, she said she had never seen a photo of him. So I said “just a sec” and went into the living room… and couldn’t find them. Then I remembered I only have two… for some reason when I told her I’d go get them I thought there was a Them to get.
Not too long ago I was talking to someone I’ve known since Forever and I mentioned my father… he said it was the first time I’ve ever mentioned my biological father. I’ve realized since then that I’ve never spoken of my father to anyone outside family and my doctor… maybe there were a few occasions. But everything about him has been an Interior Dialogue between myself and myself pretending to be him.
The thing is… I don’t know if this Post is a condemnation or an invitation.