Monday, October 17, 2011

Your Father, When You Were Young, and Some Rambling

It is true: I am a writer who never writes.  I do not think this is like being a, I dunno, maybe a junky who never uses…or whatever. Fuck, I do not know what it is like.  But I have stories in my mind, sometimes I do not even have stories, just titles to them... These titles in my head illuminate like brilliant yellow autumn leaves punctuating a grey sky, imprinting a slate rock. I joined a writer's group the other day via email.  I start in a week or so.  Nervous.  Some members are published while others are not.  The moderator of the group explained that they accept members on all levels, which leaves me concerned.  I hope it is not a group designed with her at the center, the queen, hungry with a parched, starved ego, depleting me of the precarious energy I do have.  I submitted something to her, as she wanted to show the group a piece of my writing first, before they accepted me into the group.  So, I edited a dating story/mini essay I wrote about two years ago.  I considered a few other pieces instead of this one, but they were either too dated and no longer really reflected my current writing voice, whatever that is.  Pieces that do reflect my current voice amount only to a mere a paragraph or two of blah; they're all story ideas that never really ever materialize.  In rereading this just mentioned dating mini essay, I felt it was way more immature and goofy than I had initially remembered.  When I posted it (yep, I know, lame) on FB years back, one of my friends from high school really liked it and wanted me to be on his blog as a guest blogger, but I felt embarrassed.  In truth, I've since discovered that his blog is a big bunch of bullshit.  The old man and I read a big, long critique about him and how inauthentic he is, claiming to be something he's not.  I still really like this kid though, this kid of the inauthentic blog. 

Now that I’ve sent the piece to the woman who runs the group, I feel somewhat embarrassed.  I worry if the group members think I am an idiot, naive, stupid, of novice quality.  Fuck me. As I wright all of this, i need to note that I just finished watching Enlightened, with Laura Dern.  Fuck, I feel self-conscious about my every thought now, as I relate overly with the Amy character. She is so obtuse, seeming to exist in her own melodrama which nobody, even people who are less attractive and sophisticated than she, seem to want any part of.  In a word, Dern’s character is pathetic. 

As usual, I continue writing in a stream of conscience way, blah diddi-blah-blah-ing away about not much of anything.  And as we all know, this really does not get me anywhere.  Or you, you the reader. It gets you nowhere.  And really, you are already nowhere.  You are reading this blog and thus, after all, you’re nuts, probably. Really, who the fuck would read any of this garbled nutcase of a... Whatever.  

The old man is writing right now, too.  He writes in a blogger- kinda-way in the comment section in a right wing, statewide newspaper.  He gets overly angry at the conservatives (which is ridiculous, as the paper's audiences most certainly and chiefly constructed of the right, mostly blue collar types...).  He sometimes gets irate at even the libertarians on there.  He has dysgraphia, so it takes him a long, long time to articulate himself on paper, even when he is keyboarding instead of handwriting. He has really made strides, I think, as a writer.  In fact, when we were in the midst of our split, he would send me these crazy-mean, gnarly emails that were written in this totally superior way.  Not superior to me, I mean, superior to other writing that I was reading, then and now.  These emails did tend to be overly verbose (I think the word verbose cannot really be modified by overly, thoughts?)  But I think these hate emails contributed to his writing strengths, as writing them, and there were in fact --oh!--so many, helped him practice.  Before this, he had never made any kind f writing commitment. 

Here is what I've been thinking about today:

I found out that my father, who I am estranged from, got a DWI a month or so ago.  I do not want to get into a big, long discussion about our estrangement, as that is a story, with many details--both boring and gut-wrenching--for another time.  Also, my father, in so, so many ways is completely nuts.  He lies all the time.  And he has a mean streak—here we go with the cliché—a mile wide.

I will say this though, my father, when I was growing up, was most certainly anti-alcohol.  Mostly this was kind of a bad thing.  It seemed to me, and to other people, very irrational.  I think he became this way for a few reasons.  The first is that my grandmother, his mom, came from some trashy roots. These trashy roots had to do with people, of course, drinking. My great grandmother (born in maybe 1900) had three children.  First,  a boy, and then my gram with one father.  Then, years later, she had another daughter with another man. This man is named either this (G) or that (R) (cannot really name--anonymity in this blog, you know...)--same name as my father and her husband, my grandfather.  This G or R ran off after her birth.  I am not sure how old she was.  She remembers him once coming to her school and visiting her.  I have wondered if this is something, a story of sorts, she made up initially to tell others, to assuage the fact she'd been abandoned.  And maybe, at some point, she herself began to believe in its truth.  I will never know.  She told me, maybe even more than once, that she's dreamed of his hands.

During her childhood, after her father was gone, she lived with her mother and this other man, the father of her half sister.  He was a a drinker in a large house in almost western, Mass. I do not want to write the name of the unsophisticated, smelly city, as I want this blog to be completely anonymous.   This sister of hers is my half, great aunt.  I have written about her here in this blog.  To my DBAG aunt.  You might've read it.  Anyway, there was drinking and not a whole heck of a lot of intellectual thought.  My grandmother tells me of this memory:  she is lying down on her back.   She is looking under a bed.  She is hearing irrational fighting from downstairs.  She thinks, "When I grow up my life will be lovely.  My house will be orderly.  There will be no alcohol.  And there will be books."  Again, it is doubtful that this isolated moment ever took place.  My gram is infamous for lying. But I have zero doubt that there was yucky drinking taking place.  My father has alluded/eluded (I've got issues with this word)  to my great grandmother running a speakeasy without a liqueur licensee.  And I've heard that she even went to jail. So, both my father and gram lie.  IT is thus that I'll never know what the fuck happened.  I learned to play cards from both my gram and my great aunt's father; the second husband of my great grandmother.  He seemed like a really cool guy.  His brother lived below my great aunt for years.  My mother thought he was a pervert.  I never picked up on this.

My mother grew up amidst drinking, too.  I have heard the stories about her brother and sisters being hit irrationally.  I have heard stories about my aunt's dog being thrown down the stairs.  I know my grandmother peed her pants as she was totally fucked up when I was about twelve; this was @ my aunt's wedding.  And I saw my grandfather ushering he up the stairs, his hand around her neck.  Not nice.  And I know he hit her, but I never aw this happen.  This grandfather, so fucking beloved by my mother, is a fucking bag of shit in my opinion.  His son, my uncle drank a lot, too.  Or did.  He went to jail for supposedly raping his stepdaughter.  I am not sure what his drinking and this have to do with each other, but I think there must be a connection.  Who knows though?  So much of my thinking about drinking, and addiction all the way around, stems from our society's bullshit disease ideology.  And this is mostly from AA.  AA teaches us to think about chemicals, using, over using, all of it, in such a black and white way.  It is true that AA humanizes the alcoholic and addict and kind of has usurped the idea that drinker is not a decided asshole or sinner. But in doing so, AA has removed accountability.  The whole deal is complicated; and I have an extremely difficult time knowing my true thoughts and feelings when it comes to drinking and using drugs in my own life, in the lives of those who are close to me, and in the lives of others. And I've said this before on this blog, I've asked him f he did do it and he told me no, he never raped her.  I met "her" when I was little and often wonder where she is now; is she ok?

I remember hearing about a fistfight; my uncle (married to mom's older sister), my uncle (mom's bother), and my grandfather (mom's dad).  This happened when I was in college.  They were drinking moonshine or whatever, bootleg.  My uncle as in jail, aside from the big raping thing, for a DUI.  My grandfather drank at the golf course and whenever, esp. at the cabin during the summer, on vacations.  My parents were always really freaked out by it.

When I was little, my father had a business partner who had a daughter.  We were friends, kind of.  She was fat though, and pretty pushy.  He mother seemed trampy, but she was not that pretty. I loved their house.  She was the first friend; I think anyway, I played creepy doctor with.  I am off track.  Anyway, this father drank.  A. lot.  I remember them driving me home and he drank when he drove.  He left his beer can on my parents’ porch.  My parents were upset.  In a way, this makes sense.  It is not overly responsible to drink and drive; we all know this.  But they waned to murder this guy.  They went on and on at length with each other and with me about how responsible and classy they were, as nondrinkers. They called these people, asking about the beer can.  They wanted an answer.  The guy, the father I mean of hate creepy, but interesting fat girl and her trampy, but not so pretty mother said to my parents, probably trying to lighten the situation, "Yeah, we corroded yer porch."  My parents explained to me that drinkers think everything about drinking is funny.  Later, my parents, who were so enraged, let the same thing happen all over again.  I got a ride home and the guy drank.  My father asked me, "Did the guy drink while driving you?"  I said yes.  And my father flew into a rage, promising to break the guy's legs.  He never really even mentioned it thought to the guy.  He was such a pussy.

My father did not even want alcohol at his wedding, the wedding where he married my mother. When he and my mother broke up he became less paranoid.  He had been led into this ridiculous paranoia by both his rigid, dopy mother and by my controlling insipid mother.  He even admitted this to me much later, after I had Mr. Z.  He explained my mother's fear of drinking as similar to a Jew who sees anti-Semitism blazing in a street sign.  However, when I was fourteen, I skipped school.  Twice.  Once, I did not get caught.  The second time, I did.  When I did all hell broke lose; yep, I write using clichés.  Fuckitall.   My father went through my bedroom; finding empties, rolling papers, and butts.  The empties-there might've been eight or so--were from a binge with a friend or even two friends.  That's what, two or three beers a piece.  The school nurse, a cunt who is now hopefully fucking dead--raped anally in an alley--called my parents during this time and tol them she was worried about me, thinking I was doing drugs.  This nurse, I believe, was par of that 12 step transmission line, the one that yanks regular kids who were merely experimenting and not overly achieving (but who were maybe getting by) and tosses them into the system, often locking them up into a fucking rehab.

I was honest.  I told my father I'd been drunk maybe twelve times, stoned maybe four-six times.  He did not believe me.  He was asking me, "How many beers does it take to get you through the day?" It was an issue that I was performing poorly in school. I was fooling around with boys sort of against my own permission, to borrow a cliché phrase from stupid AA.  I remember blowing, for example, my bf in the back seat of my father's used, sad little BMW while my friend, Dina and his friend Dino (joke names, obviously) sat in the front seat.  It was January and maybe 20 below zero (yep, hyperbole-ville).  But I felt safe, even though I Was clearly acting like a slut.  Dino was yelling from the front seat, "Lick the balls!"  I will never forget him sating this, loudly, and more than once.  I puked soon thereafter, after he came, mucus-y puke out my nose onto the snow.  My father must've seen it the next day.  I know for sure I would not have been smart enough to think to hide this puke.  I cannot remember if I was fucked up during this.

My father placed the aforementioned empties, the papers, the butts, the Marlboro box (that I stole from him) and the like onto a pretentious, antique try in the kitchen where I was met with big eyes and this when I walked in from a day of getting baked and baked again with Dina, Dino, and some other guy who would later fuck me when I was blacked out. I remember very little of what occurred after this.  I was not allowed to close my bedroom door.  I went to a drug and alcohol counselor who told my parents I was fine and my mother--the twat--was so upset.  And there was this constant threat that I'd go to rehab.  My father stopped at a stop light, crying, help my hand and told me his parents cried.  It was the most ridiculous display of an over reaction that I'd ever seen.  It sickens me to recant this all.  The irrational threat of rehab makes me shudder still.  I feel that it was the presence of my father, though his fucking crazy presence propelled me to use, also kept me out of rehab, as he was way more rational than my mother.  I think my mother wanted me @ rehab so she could gossip about it with her friends.  Cunt.  

Me @ rehab, had I gone!  Actually, I have a former friend who used to believe
 I looked a lot like Brittany Murphy, may she rest in piece.  

Anyway,  my tee-totally father got a DWI about a month ago. According to my sister.  The sometimes nice other times social climbing cunt sister tells me that he drinks a lot now.  I am not going to over react. Maybe I already have with this entry.  My family is so stupid when it comes to drinking; I am ashamed.  She thinks he was blacked out while driving.  And she said that my little brother as most certainly in the car when it happened.  Now that he lost his license, he, she reports, drinks even more.  Not knowing what was true.  I called his town's police department. The cop on the phone was so kind.  He told me that my father was not arrested in that town.  Bt he also told me this: "To err is human."  And that he had nothing but respect for my father.  I wanted so badly for my cunt of a mother who basically ruined my father for me to hear that.  You munchowsins (sp?!, yikes!) by proxy fucktwat;  my father was initially a good man and you ruined him, you selfish wanna be smart, rich, cunt.

I am not sure drinking,and even getting a DWI is that crazy of a thing.  I think I might be partly ridiculous or at least somewhat dramatic to be thinking about this so much.  All oh this though, the DWI, the email from my half brother (which I never even really brought up here...) and really that my father now drinks regularly from my sister has made me tired and worried.  Estranged and knowing that he is at least on some level taken care of by my stepmother has led me to rarely think of him.  And I have ben worried.  But I am worried now.  I will say, as noted above, that the cop I spoke with assuaged much of this concern.  But it is on my mind.  He is my father; he is the only father I will ever had.  


Here is what I wrote today that feels descriptive, heart felt, ad true.  It feels like I got some of what is real out of me.  And it feels good.  Here is is: 

I love my father.  He is and was a shitty dad and his reaction to my under achieving issues and the like when I was a teen were insane.  His preference for the anorexic is unforgivable.  And his whipped behavior towards my step mother and still, my unattractive, phony mother is stupid.  But I  love him.

I remember my father took up running.  I might've ben about eight, nine.  I think it was before my sister was born.  It was when we had both dogs.  He used to run with one of the dogs.  That dog adored my father.  I vaguely remember him running with the stroller, but I think my mind has added this detail.  He was so happy back then; he had hope.  My mother was nothing but an overly skinny, butt-ugly criticizer.  My father at least has a germ of person to him in my memory.  It is my depth that allows me to forgive him.   Any of the depth I have is indeed from him. It is this love for my father, and this very depth that isolates and nearly kills me, that connects me to the world.  As they say, the thing that saves you, can also kill you.  My connection is  my love for reading, and my attempts at writing, this overly cliché mess I am making here.  My writing here, is my way to bridge the stretched out, seemingly insurmountable gap between my dad and I that has really become irreparable.  It is possible to love someone who cannot, will not, or does not love you.  I will never understand my father, his issues, why he cannot pick up a fucking phone to say happy birthday, why he blames me for his shitty parenting.  

But he is a smart as fuck, funny man.  I am thinking of Elissa Schappel and her book of short stories, Use Me.  And I am thinking about the protagonist and her father.  This protagonist adored her father in ways I have never felt towards my father.  

Here is how I feel about my dad:  My dad embarrasses me in ways that will make me cringe forever.  My father is unkind, ungenerous, and in a word, ugly. But he is like a song you know by heart, sometimes forgetting, but ultimately knowing forever, for the rest of your life. My father is the last dollar in your bank account, the one that almost saves the day, but in the end, screws you, leaving you to own a mountain of debt. He is the mean words out of your mouth at the wrong time.  He is the pimple on your nose on picture day.  He is the way you could never fill a bikini or prom dress in high school; however, he is the long hours of trying to try to everything in the store anyway, tirelessly.  He is the wrong way home, the short cut you cannot master or remember, the one that gets you lost, hours out of your way, every last fucking time.  But he is also: the moon in the sky, the stars winking down.  He is the sun in the morning when you cannot even think your way out of bed.  He is your favorite shoes; the ones that make it impossible to wear any others, even though they are decades out of style.  He is your natural hair color, mousy, without life and the cause of unsexiness, but the color that goes perfectly with your kin.  He is the eyes of every man you've ever wanted in "that way" and for friendship way, too.  He is the poet that is familiar, the one you hear on the radio, making you glad you're stuck in traffic.  He is nothing, but he is everything too.