About The Funk...

Observational Spittle from the mind of a man of color in his 40s, without the color added (most times). Come in, laugh, and you may learn something...

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Daddy Farthest

It is a silent time in my household tonight. I am in relatively good spirits despite the fact that the teenager (he has moved past "The Boy") once again irritate me like poison ivy on a right testicle.

My dear spouse hit it on the head this afternoon in a text:

"You two are like oil and water."

Sigh...I wish it wasn't that way.

I wasn't fond of my old man for about 25 years. Thought he was an unreasonable, evil pube. We didn't play catch or do what American society would deem "father & son things." Besides being below average in baseball, I wasn't an athlete like him, didn't have his bravado or personality to draw folks to him, and i definitely wasn't well-liked.

Before my father got sick and lost his ability to communicate, we had one moment that I can say would qualify as a "thing." My girlfriend/future wife and I weren't dating that long, and I brought her home to meet my folks. Back then, my mother always called her "friend", even though we were living together at the time, and we had blown past the "friend" stage after our first date (feelings, folks...get your minds out of the porn section of the internet:)

Anyway, my mom being my mom got on me because I didn't own a suit at the age of 28, so she took my lady and I to buy me one.

While my mother attempted to bond with my Caucasian girlfriend, my father took me aside, placing his arm around me. Now the day before when we arrived, he gave me a quick "man hug", followed by a long hug to my future wife Carla was taken by surprise, while I had a "WTFF" (the 1st "f" was for "flying", as that I was stunned).

Anywho, we walked to a different part of the store, and in some silent sort of way, he gave the approval to my choice of female companionship. No words at all, but he smiled when I talked about this girl I had brought home.

Now I was very uncomfortable during all of this because my family ain't what you call the "huggy hug, Brady-bunch/Cosby w/o the real life ruthie" sort of family. I have tried to get my dad's approval for more than a quarter-century at that point, and I had given up at that point.

He then proceeded to tell me this NSFATTT (Not Safe For Anyone To Tell To) joke that included a racial epithet, manhood, and pigs.

I chuckled, even though to this day I have no idea why.

After we returned back to the ladies to finish picking out the suit, a smile crossed my face, because at that point I realized that my father looked at me as a man then, and for the first time in my life, all the animosity I had gone away.

Sadly his health deteriorated, and the opportunity to build a relationship went down with it.

Nearly 20 years later, history, as it always does (MUCH LOVE TO CHARLESTON SC THIS WEEKEND), repeats itself.

I am afraid that I also will become a bitter old man with shitty health, while my son just sort of says "whatever."

When it is quiet around here, memories like this flood back to my consciousness, and a mixture of sadness and smiles crosses my soul. I have a big soft spot for my oldest because he is just like me (except 50 lbs lighter and 100X better looking). No idea how to deal with people, focuses on the wrong things, smart as hell, but his attitude wouldn't have survived my era (my father would have removed the melanin with the ass whoopin's I would have received if I did and said the things he gets away with). I worry about him because he is so ill-prepared for what he has to face 5 years from now.

I wish kids weren't so damned stupid. I got lucky; for all of my various f'ups I had a safety net.

He won't be so lucky.

But more important than that, I wish my own bitterness and frustration for not being able to reach him didn't help build the unfortunately bridge that he is crossing.

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