Monday, October 25, 2004

My Dad

I don’t think I’ve written much about my Dad on my site. My close friends know about Bob, who is my slightly disturbed biological father. He’s not to be confused with Gary, who is not quite as disturbed. Anyway, the relationship between Bob and I has been strained for years. I’ve gone years at a time without talking to him, mostly because of his psychological problems. He’s not a bad man, but his life has crumbled and he is only a shell of his former self.

Recently, he decided to move back to the state of Michigan. I’ve had a bit more contact with him. I haven’t yet gone up to Pontiac to visit. It’s not on the top of my wish list, either. I try to limit my contact with him to a phone call every other week or so. I can’t listen to his paranoid ramblings anymore. Every time we speak, he goes on about how somebody has screwed him over. Some of his more ludicrous assertions include:

1) Gary physically assaulted him outside our house in July. While Gary did place his fist on the back window of the car, he did not attempt to enter the car and inflict physical harm to him. Gary only acted so vociferously because Bob refused to leave our premises. Bob later made a veiled threat, telling my Mom, “In Vietnam, I learned to kill a man with only my bare hands”. Bob told me that he’d come back one day and “knock him out”.

2) The government has stolen all his money. Bob’s been living in care facilities for years. While some of the proprietors can be unscrupulous, I highly doubt that the mental health services stole all his money. Incidentally, Bob tells me that he’s meeting with a Michigan Congressman today to discuss the situation.

3) Bob thinks that Gary, not him, is my biological father. I know for a fact that is an unmitigated lie. My Mom hadn’t even seen Gary during the year of 1983. Bob thinks that I’ve been told that he is not my real father.

None of this compares to the egregious act that occurred last night. He called up around 11:00 p.m, clearly in a disenchanted state of mind. Things got bad when the subject of my friends came up. He asked me about why I’ve visited Orlando on about five occasions between June and October of 2004. I told him that I have a couple of close friends that attend college at the University of Central Florida. He wanted me to list their names and numbers so he could call them up and stage an intervention. I said that I would not divulge that information.

Okay, here’s where it gets sort of weird. We went around in circles for a few minutes about what happens in Orlando. I told him that we just hang out, play pool and poker, etc. He insisted that I was hiding something from him. He said, “What are you hiding from me? Are you afraid I’ll be upset if I find out?” I said that I wasn’t hiding anything and that nothing sinister was transpiring.

I quickly understood what he was trying to insinuate. I told him to flat out say it. He said he didn’t want to. I replied, “If you’re thinking something, just ask me and I’ll tell you whether it’s true or not.” Once again, he refused to say it. So I finally said, “Are you suggesting that I am a homosexual?” He said, “Yes!” I knew exactly what he was trying to infer. In retrospect, I wish I had said I was. That would have really messed with his head. I responded, “No, Dad, I am not homosexual. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

I didn’t really take umbrage at his remarks. It gave me more laughs than anger. He can’t understand why his life has crumbled, and wants to blame everybody but himself. I just never expected for my Dad to ask me something like that. While my successes with the opposite sex haven’t always been extraordinary, I do not lust after men. I repeat—I am not a homosexual, not that there’d be anything wrong with that. So there you have it, apparently he thinks that Zach is my homosexual lover. Or maybe Adriana and Jennifer are really Andrew and Jack, and I’ve been hiding this secret for years. And if you go through my hard drive, you might find an essay entitled, “The Camaraderie of Male Strip Clubs”. (For the sarcasm impaired, the last few sentences were a joke)

My Dad is certainly a unique individual. Sometimes I wish that things had gone differently between us. He can’t get over the fact that despite his love for me, his tactics have served to alienate me from him. He can’t take back all the creepy stuff he’s done for so many years. The numerous visits from police were not happy memories from my childhood. Despite his best intentions, he’s done things that make me weary around him. At this point, all I can do is make peace and accept whatever happens to him. Frankly, in his condition at age 60, I don’t expect him to live past 70 at the latest. His health has deteriorated because of drinking and overall poor lifestyle choices.

I’ve stayed away from posting a lot about him. In general, it’s not a subject that bothers me that much anymore. I could write stuff that might seem funny and place him in a bad light. I prefer to keep the subject as private as possible. I’m much more preoccupied with my current life than I am with my past. But it does deserve introspection from time to time. I will post some more about him when I get the chance.



Blogger Eric Cioffoletti said...

Fascinating. This is the Taylor's Blog at its best. When you post about your true emotions and get away from football scores and poltics. Not that I don't enjoy those entries as well.

I've heard the stories about your Dad before. While I think some of them are funny, I understand how scary all of this must have been for you growing up.

October 26, 2004 at 1:30 AM  

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