A Letter to My Dad
I’d rather smile when I talk about you…about us or what could be or was instead of suck my breath and look away. What we have isn’t so bad, it’s better than what it was even though it’s nowhere close to where it should be. This is not about the past, this is about now.
I heard you were working again. You drove to the other side of town to take my sister out to eat…good. She needs hope for your case. You let her down when she was the only one left believing in you. I bet that eats you alive doesn’t it? Or maybe not. That was almost 4 years ago…
Months pass like weeks and we never speak. Crazy knowing you’re only 10 miles down the road…I’m doing well for myself, by the way. I wish you knew what I meant by that. I feel like the lone instances of our limited discourse is always about why you are where you are and doing what you do. When you tease me about my success, you call me a “fancy secretary” – Uh, no. Try a secretary’s BOSS. Mmmmm, but you’d only laugh that off like a Jim Carey joke. You don’t take me serious. Ha! Maybe that’s why I’d rather laugh at you than listen. Laughing covers the hunger for your validating glance; that’s what I really want. That and one serious talk: five minutes of you sincerely listening to me. Is that too much to ask?
I imagine this makes you feel awkward huh? Sorry – I should lighten up, huh?
It’s not that deep? Oh, MY bad. How silly of me. Ha ha ha…
You know what, Dad? Laughing is easier, but each chuckle is a lie. I’m not okay with this. But until I can see you will understand that, I cannot brig myself to break the mirth. Truth is, I don’t think you’ll ever get it…
I don’t know if you can.
Don’t trouble yourself.
Forget I mentioned it.
Your oldest girl,