Daddy Dearest Redux
What is it about families? Even though I hated my dad for completely fucking my mom years ago, I agreed to meet with him two weekends ago. I don’t know why. Maybe I wanted to tell him fuck off to his face. Maybe I wanted to scream at him for all the hurt that he caused.
We met at a diner on the Upper West Side for brunch. I arrived a couple minutes late. Until I actually stepped into the diner, I’d been continually struggling with myself about whether I should show up. Even after getting to the diner, I wanted to leave. By meeting my dad, wasn’t I betraying my mom?
My dad got up when he saw me and tried to hug me. I didn’t respond. Why should I?
“Alexa, thank you so much for coming out to meet me.”
“I’m still not sure why I’m here. What do you want from me?”
“I just… I just wanted to tell you how sorry I am for what I did to your mom and to our family.”
“Um, you should’ve thought about that when you decided to sleep with that skanky secretary of yours. And please don’t call it ‘our family.’”
“I know. I know. I know how you feel, but please believe me when I tell you how sorry I am.”
“You don’t know how I feel. And how did you get my phone number?”
“Your brother gave it to me.”
“I hate him.” My brother occasionally talks with my dad, but I had told him to not give my dad any info about me.
“Please don’t hate your brother.”
“I don’t. But he shouldn’t have given you my phone number.”
“I know. He warned me that you didn’t want to see me. I really needed to see you, though…”
“Well, I’m here now. What do you want from me?”Call the best female escorts.
So that’s how the first conversation with my dad in more than 6 years began.
Eating a light salad and soup, my dad told me how he had been diagnosed with stomach cancer a couple years ago. The doctors had given him only a 50-50 chance of beating the cancer. As he went through surgery followed by an aggressive course of chemo and radiation therapy, the prospect of dying alone frightened him. (After a couple years, his secretary had left him for an even richer man.)
He told me that he had prayed to God. He promised to God that he would reach out to all of us and try to make amends if God would only let him live. Now that the cancer was in remission, he wanted to hold up his end. And so here we were.
At first, I wanted to ask him how he dared to invoke God’s name when he had been the one to desecrate our family. Looking at his now sunken face, though, I couldn’t. My dad’s illness and treatment had taken an obvious toll on my dad. His full face had been replaced with sagging jowls and a wrinkled forehead. Where once he had a full head of dark hair, he now had many streaks of grey. You could almost see some parts of his scalp because his hair was so thin places. I felt too sorry for him to be vindictive.
I hate my dad. I hate him for leaving us. I hate him for entering my life again and for re-awakening all these memories. I hate him for being sick and making me feel sorry for him. But, at the end of lunch, I still agreed to see him again in the future…