We haven’t talked in two years, and that’s not going to stop just because it’s Father’s Day. However, you are on my mind, and I thought it’d be an interesting exercise to come up with a list of 10 things that I’m grateful to you for.
1. Thanks for knocking Mom up. I wouldn’t be here otherwise. This world is full of suffering and joy and weirdness at every step. Even through the times I’ve been miserable, I wouldn’t trade a single moment of this life.
2. Thanks for the genetic predisposition to skinniness. That allowed me to scarf all the Oreos and Ding Dongs and Funyuns and Coca Cola I wanted until I was at least 30.
3. Thanks for smoking weed with me when I was a teenager. That was fun. Until I realized it was sad.
4. Thanks for being supportive when I got knocked up. I mean when you found out my baby was going to be half-black, you completely rejected me, but up until then you were a real sport.
5. There were a couple of times you lent me money in college, and I think you made a couple of payments towards my braces when I was a teenager. Thanks for that.
6. Thanks for setting me up to be attracted to men with addiction issues. That’s meant my love life has been a lot more, umm, interesting and exciting than many of my peers. And those guys need love too, right?
7. Thanks for teaching me that one of the shittier things humans can do is make promises to children and then break them.
8. Thanks for not being there to protect me from stuff. I like that I’m kind of a warrior as a result.
9. In fact, here’s an all around thanks for not being around. Your side of the family, God love you guys, is a big old bowl of crazy. Left to her own devices, Mom did a pretty good job. I’m a fairly high-functioning human being. I rarely threaten to beat up teachers or nurses. I don’t have a drug problem. I only have one baby daddy. I pay my own rent. My son, despite my deficiencies, seems to know that he’s lovable and likable. So all in all, this really is the best of all possible universes.
10. Thanks for doing your best. It’s hard being you. You swung and missed. A lot. But you tried. And that counts for something.
I still can’t be around you, but in my own way I love you. And if I were stronger, if I had a greater capacity to tolerate your dysfunctionality, I’d come over and leave a 20 in my purse just for you. And when you found it and methed it up later, you could know it was on me. That would be a happy father’s day indeed, right?
Yours for better or worse,