Friday, November 5th, 2010

radiumgirl: (Wall-E)

My dad died when I was fourteen.

Don't run away! This entry isn't going to be as angsty and tortured as you think.

Really. I'm over it. I mean, as over it you ever get, you know? I think anyone who has ever lost a parent or someone they were extremely close to will agree. There isn't a day that you don't think of that person in some way. It will be nine years on December 22nd and I still catch myself seeing total strangers from behind and thinking, "Dad!" for just a fleeting instant before the reality check kicks in. I did it the other night at the Donut Hole. Peering out the window of the kitchen, I saw a patron from behind and he just looked like him: black hair peppered gray and combed back with tonic, broad shoulders, plaid shirt. I dropped the spatula.

It's an involuntary thing, so I don't worry about it. I think that's just how it goes.

I ran the gamut of mourning when I was in high school, when it happened. I was pretty messed up. My high school dumped therapy on me and My-Mother-the-Convict dragged me out because "people would talk" and I attribute the majority of the trouble I got into from ages 15 through 18 to both my dad's absence and my mother's lack of giving a shit. (And certainly myself because, let's face it, no one held a gun to my head and said "give it up to the first boy who says you're purty.")

But hey, I muddled through and despite coming out a little bit damaged, I came out mostly whole and I'm not a serial killer or anything, so that's a definite plus. I avoid talking to Convict!Mommy at all costs, so I detour around alot of her mind games. Playing the Daddy!Card was always a favorite of hers. "You think I didn't realize he loved you the most? More than me? More than your brother? Well guess what, missy, Daddy's not here to save your ass anymore."

Good times. And she wonders why the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania placed a restraining order against her on my behalf.

So, other than the occasional awkward lunch in a very public venue, and the occasional call from her parole officer asking me what she's been up to ("I don't freaking know, probably scamming her boss. You call her."), I don't deal with my mother. And other than the fleeting doppelganger!dad moments, unless I'm making a trip to the cemetery or something, I don't sit around and dwell on the "could-have-beens" every day of my life.

But lately? Like in the past week or so, it's been one thing after another. My uncle found a bunch of pictures in his attic when he and his wife were cleaning, pictures of him and my dad when they were waaaaay young and he gave me a few of my dad. He pointed to one and said, "He was about your age now in that one. You look like him. You looked like your ma when you were a kid, but dammit if you don't look like Charlie now."

And it's true. Slap some eyeliner on him and the resemblance would be borderline identical.

And then there was the guy at the Donut Hole.

And then I was driving home the other night and I got completely hung up on whether or not Dad would have liked my PT Cruiser.

And now, more alarmingly, the dreams the past few nights. I've had dreams about my dad since he died, but not with much regularity, maybe just a few times a year. They're always the same, we're either in his boat, fishing, or eating dinner at this dumpy diner in New Jersey we used to go to all the time because they gave you a cheese danish for dessert after every meal. They used to be more like memories, I guess. I was always nine, or ten, or twelve and even though I would be aware that this was a dream and he was dead and I was really fifteen, seventeen, eighteen years old, he would go on like it was 1998 and how's school? You still like that Steve kid? He seems like a good kid. We'll stop at the craft store and get the stuff for your diorama on the way home, okay?

Most recently, like in the past two nights, we're still fishing or eating at the diner, but I'm my current age and he looks like the picture my uncle gave me and we both know that he's dead and Melinda is a wackjob and I'm a giant fuck-up and we talk. I haven't been able to remember what he says yet, but I don't think it's anything bad because I'm not upset when I wake up, just kinda weirded out.

I stopped worrying about Daddy's approval awhile ago, when I really realized what "gone" entailed and sure, if he had been around, things would have ended differently, but he wasn't and I did what I did and I'm sorry for alot and not sorry for alot and what happened happened so get over it. (I think that's why I'm so quick to jump to Sam's defense when Dean is all WTF DEMON BLOOD! in Season 4.) I used to write letters to defend myself, but got worried that other relatives would see them at the cemetery, get nosy, and pry, so I stopped leaving them.

So what's going on here? Why now? What. The. Fuck.

June 2011

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