This is a post that I thought I might never write. I still haven’t committed to writing it well- or in entirety. We’ll see…
I know that eventually I will have to ‘deal’ with my father- even speak about him. I have, thus far, mostly reserved this for moments between me and my sister. She ‘get’s it’. We lived it. We are, and have been, each others safe harbor.
My mother was his wife. Talking with her is too painful and I’m uncomfortable. I don’t want to hurt her, or make her feel like a fool. She married him.
My children never really knew him. I had instructed them that if a man ever showed up with a fancy car and told them he was their grandfather and asked them if they wanted to go for ride, or to show them his gun, they were to RUN.
My husband and I have had countless conversations over the years- conversations, not intense sharing (husband & wife telepathy). Too many ‘Red Alert’ moments. After all, we did have to figure a way out of the IRS problem my father left me in years ago. Like an $8k problem (in 1982 dollars), with lawyers hired and a baby that came prematurely. Because I was his VP and he had my name forged all over corporate documents. They came for me. He had skipped town.
When, years later, he called me out of the blue to tell me he was The Pope’s ‘Point Man’ in Miami (and never offered where he had been for 10 years) I asked him why? He replied that I had misunderstood, that it had never happened. Then he laughed.
I mostly heard, ‘The Pope’s Point Man’.
“Are you actually saying that to people?”
“Yea I am, because it’s true, he doesn’t make a move without me.”
“Dad, come on. Get real. You’ve crossed the line with this one. You know it isn’t true and I actually believe you think it is. You’ve gotta see someone. It’s NOT true. And you know it! It’s just one more in a long string of BULLSHIT that has flowed from your lips like a full-up crapper over a lifetime of crap! CRAP Dad!!! And I’m SICK OF IT! You are CRAP and all of your life has been leaving a wake of CRAP over people.”
Then, “He doesn’t make a move….”
My father was an interesting man; highly intelligent, handsome, charming, and thoroughly void of conscience.
Even as a young child, I learned to understand him from an ‘audiences’ point of view, one where I could sit back, eat popcorn, and observe. The show was always interesting.
I believe it’s title was ‘Being a Sociopath’.
He never told anyone he ever loved them- because he actually didn’t know how it felt.
Any ’emotions’ he ever showed were because he mimed them- observing them in others, knowing it was expected of him, and he acted them out. Except for anger- that was real.
He was constantly changing professions (not just jobs) reinventing himself after the newest television show or blockbuster movie. In his lifetime he played Soldier, Playboy, Dog Trainer, Advertising Executive, Race Car Driver, Sheriff’s Deputy, Salesman, Entrepreneur, Honorary Native American Tribe member, Music Producer, Sports & Entertainment Promoter, Husband, Father, Friend (and the Pope’s Right-hand Man, don’t forget).
Let’s just say he LOVED costumes, and was trying them on in an attempt to find the one that felt ‘Real’.
In life, sometimes we have a choice. I choose to see him as a Dickens’s character- deeply flawed, unable to right his path, unrepentant, narcissistic, and lost. Like drunken Bill Sikes (but without the drunk- Dad had no substance abuse issues. Weird- I know).
But factually, someone that I learned a helluva lot from.
Dad was impressive, not so much for what he did, but for how he could fuck-up a free lunch. He showed me what to never do, or be, or live.
I consider myself lucky- even having received a gift- the gift of a bad ‘example’.
Yea- that’s a ‘gift’ too.
Dad never sought help because he thought it was the world that was wrong.
He never stayed rich because he thought he deserved the good things in life even if he threw them away- regularly.
He was never powerful because he had no power over the illness that defined him.
And he didn’t love anything unless they (or it), served him in some way, and then it was always short-lived- like his wasted potential.
He died alone and under awful and dramatic circumstances (just the way I predicted).
In the end, his life story fell on deaf ears, except for those that are still trying to write the theme song to his interesting movie.
|With comedian Paul Rodriguez,
his Formula One Indy car,
& as a Deputy Sheriff.
|Suave and debonair in Miami Beach (1950’s)
As a soldier
& with our Great Pyrenees dog Andy…
to name but a FEW of his incantations.