My father did indeed call and leave a message on my voice mail at work and although I forgot to bring the number home last night, I did so today. It sits. In my purse. emitting waves of guilt that I didn't call as soon as I walked in the door. Waves of nervousness and apprehension. I am not over the last call. I don't want to argue with him. and even though I have said I want him in my life? I was just getting used to the idea that he was out. And so, I have to rearrange my thoughts and emotions again. I have to return to the roller coaster that is my life with Daddy.
I imagine he will want to see me for Fathers day. I haven't attempted that in 4 years. (remember, I have not seen him in over three) the last time, he stood me up. I should say us, because C was with me. He was to meet my father for the first time that day. Instead, he met him late at night when we went to pick him up from jail. I will always be grateful to C for accompanying me that night. I didn't now how badly I needed the support.
I know that my upset comes down to fear and anger. I am angry because Daddy has let me down so many times. He has not been the hero I thought I he could be when I was a child, when sometimes my only consolation was that if my Daddy only knew how life was for me, he would make it better. He has not been the adult I needed him to be when I became one. When I think of my father, I think of the last time I was in my grreat grandmother's house. The darkness, the half finished home improvement projects. The smell. The roaches. The lack of water. the garbage in the yard that was Joe's pride. I didn't want to sit anywhere. I didn't want to look into my great grandmother's room and see where he had spelled "I love pussy" in vinyl letters on her dresser mirror. I didn't want to look at Joe's room and see where he had allowed his crack head friends to draw nakid women on the walls. I remember the crack pipes I threw away and the silver spoons used to melt heroin or whatever else you melt in a spoon. I think of the pictures of half nakid women kept side by side with the pictures of my sister and I, the pictures of my grandmother, pictures of women who had no business being nakid on camera. (lest you think I am too judgemental, neither do I) pictures I have not yet thrown away because I can't bear to go through that box again and see the pictures of my dad when he was young and clean and healthy. I can't bear to touch the pictures of those women again. I also fear that he will yell at me when he discovers that I did. That he will yell at me when he finds out I gave away that big box of crap that was taking up far too much of my office space.
I am afraid we will argue again. That he will demand the things I took from the storage unit. I don't want to give up the pictures. They are all the pictures I have. Of GG and Joe. Of Ma and Frank. Of my grandfather. I know they are all he has too. But I can't help but feel like he doesn't deserve them.
It's a DIRTY feeling I feel when I think of my father, and I live a clean life. Part of me wants to call and patch things up. Part of me wants to bury the number until I am ready to deal with it. Let him sweat a bit.
But I am not like that. I know it took a lot of courage for him to call.
At times like these, I picture myself the last time I went snowboarding. Up on the hill at Heavenly looking over what looked like a cliff and complaining that "I am NOT a snowboarder, I am a soapmaker!". Knowing that there is no other way down. And that there is no time like the present. Maybe I will strap on my snowboard before I call. Maybe then I will feel brave.