Fathers Day

Well, I had a nice father’s day, my dad and I went on a hike out in the Sandy River Delta area, took the dogs, got lost. Saw a bunch of flowers, a snake, lots of different dragonflies. Lots of people out with lots of dogs. The river was either way higher than it has been before, or way lower, it’s tough to tell since I don’t go out there very often. Either way it was a beautiful way to spend the day, and have a lot of low key, but civil, conversation with my dad.

It sounds like he’s starting to come out of his latest depressive plunge, which is a good thing. He actually talked about getting in touch with the probate lawyer and taking care of Grandma’s stuff, which is something he should have done months ago. He also talked about whether or not he was going to need to get a new car, which is a subject that had long not been broached. It was nice to be able to just kind of talk about problems, without fearing that he was going to flip out and yell at me. Of course, we steered wiiiide of The War and The Economy and The Presidential Election. That shit is a little too heavy for me during exercise time anyway, but the last three or four times we’ve “gone there”, it’s not ended up working out. Lots of emotion tied into it for him, and when Dad gets emotional, he gets argumentative. And when I say argumentative, don’t think for a moment that I’m talking about the sort of argumentative that goes on when Hannity and Colmes talk about Iraq; Instead imagine the sort of argumentative that went on in the mid 90’s when a blood and a crip had a discussion about the ownership of a car.

Of course, this is not the only weird emotional response Dad has. When he thinks his kids are in danger, he gets angry at them. Weird, but true. When the neighbors indicated that my sister had several boys in her room, and that they had held her out the window (which is apparently not true), he screamed and yelled at her, grounded her, not listening to anything she had to say. When I rode my big wheel down the street and he didn’t remember where I was? He spanked me. When I got arrested and wrongly accused of sexual assault, he treated me as if I had done it. Very exciting.

I see this in myself from time to time, the backwards responses, the screeching chaos behind my eyelids, and I have to wonder if he experiences all of the same crazy things I do. Does he not really trust anyone? Does he live a life that merely spans the moments between elaborate, violent revenge fantasies? When he sees happiness in others, does it disgust him? Does he feel like the smile on his face has been glued there to distract everyone else? I wonder.

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