The world, my world, is too full of inverse relationships. Uncomfortable, unnavigable, inverse connections – between truth, gossip and money, across time. I am too old to be having this hard of a time making my way through it all. It is all too petty for my seemingly undeniable urge, to run away.
My dad is a fat rich white guy. He disowned me, before and after he won the lottery. That was just over twenty years ago.
Go back not quite thirty years before that if you want to know when my family really came undone. When I was born, I ripped my mother’s cervix apart and since no one noticed, she almost died. I think it scared my dad so bad he lost the capacity to love right, right then. He was young and poor and desperately attached. My mother was the best the thing that had ever happened to him. Plus, he had secretly hoped for a son. He had no clue what to do with me.
My aunt, who is my godmother, my mother’s baby sister, was nineteen years old at the time. During the crisis, she imagined she would have to marry him and raise me. But she did not have to. My mother pulled through. So my life was just wonky, funhouse crooked, one slightly off – instead of a complete disaster. Or… maybe just a different disaster. Who can ever tell. Who knows.
My parents are no longer together; they haven’t been for thirty years. My aunt, unlike my father, has tried very hard to be there for me. She has been faithful and loving, despite the shenanigans and general bad behavior of the rest of us - Mom, Dad, and me included. She was the black sheep of my mom’s family, the artist, the free spirit. A certified music teacher, and likewise a massage therapist, a self-published children’s author, she has made her way mostly on the business edge of the art industry. She has a full-time job, too, but on the side she started an art’s council in my hometown that has been quite successful.
My dad has not spoken to me, has refused my (holiday, birthday & random) intermittent but consistent attempts to reconnect with him for the past twenty years. He does not know my daughter at all. I stopped sending the cards, etc. a few years ago. Now I just send an email once a year, either for his birthday in late spring, or on father’s day.
About six weeks ago, on the spur of the moment, I had this urge to send him a link. No note, no formal hello or whatever – it was a just a link to the kickstarter for this covered bicycle/sidecar thing with motorized capabilities. It made me think of him because, rumor has it, he is a biking enthusiast and takes his dogs along on excursions in a contraption he pulls behind him. The link made me think of him - I sent it in an email with a note saying exactly, and only that. “This made me think of you. :)”
He did not reply. He never has. Not to my cards, not to packages, not to email. But, oh well. There was something about this. This casual message to say: Hey, I think about you. It felt right. Then last week, again, spur of the moment, I sent him a ten second video of my bees under the subject line: “my bees”.
Again, no note. No explanation. It felt good. I thought, “Well, Dad, you don’t have to look, but, here I am.” I thought, who knows? Maybe I will send him another one, now and again, these tidbits of information-only emails. I liked the sense of… controlled connection it gave me. There, I’ve said it, honestly. However petty and immature that makes me.
Then, tonight, I got an email from my aunt. She asked for my dad’s email address. She wants to contact him and ask for a donation for a project she is working on with the arts council.
I know it is really fucked up and selfish and horrible and mixed up wrong of me… but I don’t want to give it to her. My dad’s birthday is the day after tomorrow, I know he’ll see my recent contacts as part of some scheme if she asks him for money right now. I feel… twelve years old. I feel such an inescapable mixed up cocktail of sick emotions. A concoction of guilt and anger and the need to protect, but most of all confusion. Mostly I feel foolish. Which is how grownups have always made me feel. I am too old for this. I feel twelve years old and I only want to run away from home.
But the reality is, there is no home to run from, just this petty chaos of inverse relationships. No real problems. Just a whole lot of made up bullshit. I need to learn how to ignore it all, I suppose. But here I am, forever longing to… be connected, to be involved.
This is as close to community as I know. And most of all, I feel small.