The father who never accepted me is dying, and I’ve already moved on.

Publish Date : 2021-05-25

The father who never accepted me is dying, and I’ve already moved on.

My mother is whispering but emphasizes the word “talk” with a squeeze of my hand as if she thinks some sort of deep revelation between my father and I will break a levee between us, setting free a long-ago dammed-up river of love. I’ve come back to Ohio and am standing in the nursing home where my father lies dying in bed just down the hall. I don’t even want to be here to tell you the truth. I feel little to no connection with the man lying in that bed down the hall. My mother seems to want an emotional scene, the kind that my family has always avoided, so I don’t understand these theatrics. I don’t know why she’s called me here, dropped me in the middle of a soap opera hospital set and commanded me to be an actor. I have no thespian training and I have no emotions from which to draw. The man lying in that room in that bed down this hallway sparks no emotion within me whatsoever.

My mother has been calling me for days, asking me to come here, leaving messages on my answering machine. “Brian, I would like you to come see your father” which evolved into “Brian, you need to come see your father” which mutated into “Brian, you really have to come see your father.” It is the “really have to” that brings me here because even though I feel nothing for the man, I don’t want people to know that I feel nothing for him. So I boarded a Greyhound and left the city to come back to this place. I will miss all the fun of the weekend back in Pittsburgh where my real family and I go out to drink and dance until the late hours. I will call them frequently while I am here in this dying town, where I will be cast in the role of Grieving Son to a man who was cast in the role of Dying Father. My mother is still squeezing my hand and looking at me with an intensity in her eyes, nudging me in the direction of his room. I am confused because she didn’t like him much either, but we have to make a show of it, I guess. “You go on in there and talk to him,” she says again. I play along and start to walk slowly down the hallway toward his room. I wish I were at the club right now where my friends are.

“So, is he like, gonna die, or whatever?”

Annette and I are locked in a bathroom stall together at Metropol. She is slowly arching her neck from being bent over a small mirror she’s placed on the tank of the toilet seat on which she sits backwards. With one finger pressed down plugging her nostril, she inhales deeply so as not to risk spilling any valuable cocaine. The music outside the ladies’ room is nice and loud and we can feel the vibrations even inside our obvious hidey-hole. It gets louder for a few seconds at a time whenever someone opens the door. Annette and I don’t whisper. We don’t need to because every woman in the bathroom has brought her gay inside a toilet stall to do the same thing we’re doing.

“So? Is he?” she repeats when she comes up for air.

“I guess. I don’t know. It looks that way.”

I take the vial of cocaine from her hand and dig around in my pocket for my tiny spoon.

“Damn. That’s deep,” she says as she tilts her head back to check her nostrils in the same mirror for traces of errant blow. I admire this ingenuity. “I’m sorry,” she adds. “That sucks.”

Love Is In The Air Capitulo 100 En Español Completo Gratis

I find my tiny spoon and dig it deep into the cocaine vial in order to get a heaping helping, then maneuver it carefully toward my nostril and suck up a big blast that makes me cough. “It’s not a big deal,” I tell her. The coke is good. I can immediately feel the synthetic taste of it sliding down the back of my throat and numbing my whole mouth. My ears tingle and my jaw is already clenching. I take another large blast and Annette extends her palm. A sign that I need to hand the vial back. She is ready for another. She has laid the tiny mirror out again and is tending to the business of using her bus pass to chop it up into a fine powder to rid it of its rocks. I like to snort the rocks whole and let them dissolve inside me.

“What, was he, like, abusive or something?” she says not looking up.

The cocaine is so good that I’m feeling loose and communicative. The music out in the club begins to thump louder in my ears and my mouth is already beginning to go dry and I am giving in to the high. With my back teeth already beginning to grind, I tell her that my father was not abusive. He was just a Black father, and he behaved like Black fathers are supposed to behave.

“What the hell does that mean?” she asks.

This cocaine is probably the best I’ve ever had. I close my eyes and lean back against the bathroom stall as Annette starts to cut up another line. I let it work its magic on my tongue and I tell her everything I know.

“I mean, I don’t really know him. He used to be part of the family and then he just wasn’t. My father didn’t want me. He wanted an action figure. I was never boy enough for him. His favorite story to tell is when his own father knocked him unconscious. Can you believe that?”

I look to Annette to wait for a reaction. She gives none. I continue.

“He was unconscious for three days because he talked back to his father. ‘He knocked me clean across the room!’ My father tells this story like it’s funny. He said his father told him that it was better for a Black man to beat his son to death than for a white man to kill him. He said he would never let a white man get his hands on his kids. He’d kill them himself first. Toughen ’em up for whitey. And my father doesn’t like women. He once told me that a man’s place is over a woman. Head of the household. He used religion to justify it. ‘That’s the way God intended it,’ he said. He told me that women shouldn’t wear pants. Can you believe that? He actually believes that women shouldn’t wear pants and he believes that if a man wasn’t dominating something, then he isn’t a man, so obviously I am a huge disappointment. He has to know I’m a fag. I mean he just has to. But he doesn’t want to see me. And he likes my brother better. My brother who don’t even look like him like I do. Because my brother played basketball and football and ran track and had a ton of girls hanging off his dick all the time. That’s what a man is to my father.”

Again, I look to Annette for a reaction. Still nothing. This is a good high. I keep going.

“He wrapped everything up in being a ‘man’ and when he lost his job, he just stopped being anything. He faded into the wood paneling. He doesn’t have more than a sixth-grade education, so he couldn’t get another job. The steel mill laid him off and then all he did was lay around the house and complain about women and white people.”

I can’t stop talking and Annette isn’t trying to stop me.

“He told me that a Black man has to be ready to fight always. White people gonna test him. A Black man has to control his woman always. Women gonna test him. And when it became clear that I was gonna do neither, he didn’t want anything to do with me. And now I’m supposed to go running to this bedside and cry some ol’ crocodile tears for a man who chose being a man over just being a father, a human being, a person? So, yeah, I don’t know him and I think it’s a little too late to try to get to know him now. My mother is acting like we were best friends. Can you believe that? I mean, can you believe it?”

Annette dramatically inhales another line, sniffing more loudly than necessary and tilting her head back too far. She begins searching through her backpack for a cigarette, the lighting of which will announce that we’re done in the ladies’ room for now. She shrugs.

“I don’t know, Brian. It could be worse. My daddy was a drunk. Black men have it hard. But you should definitely go see him. You wouldn’t be here without him and that’s gotta be worth something.”

She hands me the vial of coke as she is rifling through her bag, and I quickly scoop up more than my fair share and snort it down before she looks back up. I hand it back to her and ignore her last statement. The drugs now have my head spinning. I continue talking, my mouth still motorized by narcotics.

“After my mother left him he didn’t know what to do couldn’t even feed himself or keep himself clean he moved into an abandoned house can you believe that my father moved into an abandoned house that was falling down all around him and had no heat and no electricity just up the road from my house he lived there by himself with a pile of dirty clothes and a kerosene heater my mother would send us up there to take him food and make sure that he was all right but she would never go herself. she would never go herself. he was an embarrassment he didn’t even try after he got laid off and I didn’t know what to do for him I was just a kid but I knew he was an embarrassment but even then even when he was basically a hobo he kept telling me to take my hand off my hip act like a man stop being a sissy he’s only sick now because he gave up won’t take his medicine won’t eat right won’t do anything except sit around and complain about white folks and women and he just never even tried he gave up so why should I have to put in any effort at all besides I’m not even the son he wanted he wanted my brother who doesn’t even look like him like I do and — ”

Annette cuts me off. “So don’t go then.”

I sniff. She lights the cigarette and drops that vial of good coke into the depths of her backpack. I watch it disappear and suppress the urge to tell her I want more. She stands quickly and flips the lock on the toilet stall and we head out to look into the large mirror at the sinks together. We stand next to each other checking our nostrils and she pats down her afro wig to ensure that the shape is perfectly circular. She reapplies lipstick, rubs her lips together, and then makes kissy faces in the mirror.

“Go see your father. It may be the last time.”

We head out the bathroom door and into the hallway that leads to the club where the music is almost deafening and the people are dancing and the flashing lights in the darkness wait to envelope and distract me.

“You want a drink?” Annette asks me.

“Hell yes.”

Together we walk down the hallway toward all the things that make life worth living.

Category :family-relation
Author Website : Love Is In The Air Capitulo 98 En Español Completo

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