sad dad stuff with an unexpected gay twist at the end

October 15, 2012

Should I have read Billy Budd when my dad was alive? Did I fuck up? I hope not. I really don’t think so. It is hard to imagine it would made any difference, really, that it wouldn’t have changed our relationship, right?! He never asked me about the book after he gave it to me for Christmas however many years ago.  I don’t even know when that was. Is that significant that I can’t remember that? This is maybe the most open hearted I’ve been since he died. So is this new bout of sadness and anger all just the normal long tail of grief and it feels different because I am in a different place? Heather? What do you think? Kath? (There’s some other names I’d post here, but I want to respect your all’s privacy.)  I keep thinking about Dad’s friends, Joe and his brother, Patrick, and that guy, Gary, and Delbert and his sons and how they all knew Dad loved them. And how they knew Dad would do anything for them because Dad did do so much for them. He was a wonderful friend. The best. ( Also, Mom, you can’t pipe in here and say how much Dad loved us because it was an abstract thing — all idea and no action.) God, I just don’t want to be this person anymore with these sad-ass Dad abandonment feelings. It sucks. It really does. I know I will be fine. I know these current feelings or sadness and anger and rejection will pass. But the stuff in my psyche – man, dude, not the legacy I was hoping for. (Mom, you also can’t tell me about all the great things I got from Dad, right now. I know how much we are alike. I wouldn’t trade that in, either.)

I both make jokes and serious comments about my longing, as in how much I love to long. I say things like I am a “longing junkie” and I date women on the other side of the continent. I write sad songs and neurotic poems and then listen to even sadder songs and read even more neurotic poems. Longing is just so much a part of me. I cannot imagine myself without it. And the irony, and irony is not even the right word (but lots of right words don’t even exist) is that it comes from this hard and messed up place of not really having a dad and then being this little baby gender queer butch who never thought she would . . . I don’t know . . . get to thrive in this world. Thrive sounds so fucking therapeutic. I mean get the chance to have as meaningful life as everyone else around me who was not a baby gender queer butch. Sometimes, when I think of my life now I am amazed, really, that it has been possible. Right up to this very minute, I am amazed to always be becoming more myself. It seemed like the most secret dream I had when I was kid – that I would be myself in this world. I guess I am posting some belated coming out commentary and potentially ending on an unexpected up note, which is not something I predicted when I started writing tonight.


5 responses to “sad dad stuff with an unexpected gay twist at the end”

  1. Ron says:

    On the issue of you looking to those around you and thinking maybe they are having a more meaningful life than you … hate to say it, we ALL think that about everyone else. I’m the one that’s a mess, but they all have it together. We all think it. In this, you will never be alone, trust me!


  2. val says:

    human longing. exactly the sort of thing you would want to see in a any good protagonist. to create a work of depth and meaning.
    i love the idea of the words that do not exist. meaning that has no code.
    thank you for writing this. may we all come to recognize the bonafide life we got going on. i love your honesty and ideas.

  3. liz says:

    Thanks, Ron. Val!!!!!!!!! Can I bring you fish tacos sometime? ANd thank you for reading my blog. I have been thinking of the Salons. We could just do a 2 person salon.

  4. Deborah says:

    “It seemed like the most secret dream I had when I was kid – that I would be myself in this world.”
    That poignant line stopped me in my tracks. Lovely.

    Me too, but I got to imagine that I would be. I mean I fit the norms closely enough for a hairy weirdo, and I was securely middle class with the casual sense of entitlement that bestows, and had nurturing but not hovering feminist parents, and I grew from a compost of wonderful books whose protagonists grew into themselves, so I figured I would too. And I am. Becoming myself more and more. At quite a rapid clip these days, although it’s not really a question of pace so much as depth or maybe intensity.

    I am glad you keep becoming yourself, too.

  5. liz says:

    i loved what you said, Deborah! More importantly, I love that you are becoming more you too!

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