Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My Father

Salvador Dali's "Persistence of Memory"


I haven’t spoken of him much, because I don’t know much about him really. Maybe I should go about this the same way I did with my mother’s stories.

He had red hair. There was one time when he put his cup of coffee down on a shelf. Georgie knocked a sock into it. My mother took out the sock and no one told him and we giggled as he drank.

He had bad gas. There was one time he fell asleep in front of the television and the gas was so bad it sent the rest of us to our rooms. I placed a towel by the bottom of the door so the smell couldn’t get in.

One of my favorite foods has always been Gouda cheese. He bought some special for me one Easter. I ate the cheese with delight and pressed the red wax around my nose to make a mold. Until that point we only got Gouda at Christmas.

He loved science fiction and Star Trek.

Once my mom made me go to this slumber party. It was the daughter of the woman who ran the special school my mother had wanted us to be in. I felt so left out – I had no gift or money. My father came by with a carton of strawberries and saved the night.

My father was a good cook, he made an amazing pineapple upside down cake. I don’t think I’ve eaten it since then. My mother always complained about the mess after he cooked, but it was worth it.

He got really sick, much like my brother always did, and vomited when ill.

One of his eyes was hazel, the other blue.

He dressed as Darth Vader at some school carnival one year.

I don’t remember the sound of his voice.

When I was nine-years old he came to visit us. My mother had moved us to New York by then. We were in a park. My brother dared me to spit on our father’s head, and I did.

There were other times after that he came to New York, but we never found out until after he left.

My brother tried so hard to reconnect with him, to no avail.

Finally, when my brother was older, maybe after high school, our father came up with his new wife. He had three new kids. He agreed to see my brother. My brother returned with his heart now filled with hate. I think he said our father said he has a new family now and doesn’t want to deal with us anymore.

When my father found out I lived in Manhattan, I think he thought I had money. He sent a letter to my grandma who forwarded it to me. I had my friend read it. After reading it she told me I probably shouldn’t. He denied any part in anything bad in my childhood and wanted money. He also said he was dying from leukemia and the doctors said his children should be tested. That’s a lie. No doctor would want a donation from the person’s child, they are haploidentical and lead to way more complications then the Leukemia would. I don’t have that letter anymore.

When my brother heard about the possible leukemia, he still got tested to see if his blood matched.

His birthday and that of my mother and brother always fell on the same day of the week each and every year; mine was the only one that was different.

I don’t even remember what year he was born in anymore.

I wrote a poem when I was little, “When Pigs Fly.” One of the lines was, “I’ll like boys when pigs fly.” He referenced it in the letter.

We went to a double feature once; it was the Karate Kid and Gremlins. He jumped out of his seat when a Gremlin popped out of the cabinet in the film. We left early. I couldn’t get to sleep I was so scared so he slept on the floor in my bedroom (my mother never believed in letting children sleep with them in the adult bed).

I remember going to see Supergirl and one of the George Burns Oh God movies with him.

He drove a big white van as a courier for some job. I liked riding with him, but we weren’t allowed to be seen by his employer and had to duck a lot.

He was a traveling salesman at some point.

He hit me in the back with a pair of shoes.

He hid pornography in various places; I remember showing one to my mother.

When my brother was thinking about college, he found out my father was working at one he was interested in. Our father said if he applied he would deny the relation so he couldn’t get the discount. My brother ended up alternating between the military and community college. I still don’t know if he ever graduated.

I think at points he tried, his demons were just too strong.

4 comments:

Amel's Realm said...

What a mixture of memories!!! Glad you had LOVELY moments with your Dad. ;-D

Funnily enough, my birthday and my Dad's and brother's always fall on the same day, too. ;-D

Victorya said...

thanks :) I'm really trying to focus on just letting them come and putting some positive stuff in there too.

Amel's Realm said...

Yeah, I guess that's the best way, eh? ;-D

I personally LOVE the part when your Dad brought you a carton of strawberries and saved the night. I almost shouted "YES!" when reading it he he he...

Victorya said...

yeah, that memory definately makes me smile! He came through :)