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The Indefinite Article.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Per Amber's Request - One for the Ladies

In an effort to cater to the females in our group who are feeling increasingly alienated by the frequent geek speak that populates chairjockey, i'm revealing my deep inner feelings about a recent drama that has me in its grips:


i am going to have to make a difficult phone call. i don't want to do it, but i'm going to have to. i'm having the conversation that i will inevitably have with my father in my head. it has been replaying since this morning, when it was decided that the phone call would have to be made. sometimes, i am aggressive and petty. othertimes i am sensible and polite.

what bothers me most, however, is that the call has to be made in the first place. this is a natural reaction to something that i don't want to do in the first place, but aside from my own defense mechanisms, in this particular case this phone call should never have been necessary. no one expected him, especially me, to show up to the wedding.

6 months ago i advised my sister not to invite my father. reading that sentence now makes me shutter much in the same way when i hear about people who commit crimes against children. It rattles me to the core, and i can understand why, at the time, lynda did not heed my advice: i must have sounded overly cruel and maybe spiteful; although, that was hardly my intention. A wedding announcement was addressed to him (and not his wife who has a tangible dislike for my sister) and sent off into what i knew would be a 'void'. She would never hear from my father, the wedding would happen, and life would continue as it has since my mother backed out of the driveway in Brownsville.

A similar scenario played out in 2001 when carolina and i got married. I sent an invitation to my father (and not his wife - i have my own issues with her; but also out of respect for my mother who would obviously be a little more than annoyed with her presence) and got much the same phone call that my sister received this weekend: a rant about how not inviting his wife puts him in a bad situation (i can't understand why); about how he can't believe that we think he doesn't love us; and about how we're always making him feel bad.

I am not a fighter. My sister is. The phone call i received four years ago ended with a very matter of fact explanation of how uncomfortable it would be for my mother and him explaining that he would be unable to make it (i can't even remember why - but i already knew he wouldn't show.) Lynda's phone call dissintegrated into a series of back and forth accusations (noted above) and crying. It crumbled even further once he called my other sister (nytashah) to ask her advice and cry to her. (If anyone has any doubts about where my drama-queen tendencies come from i guess they are from my dad, even though i could have sworn it was my mom who had cursed me with that.) My sister got that conversation second hand and decided that she doesn't want him there anymore.

I told her i would do it without thinking about how difficult it was going to be. This is a problem i have.

As i'm writing this i am realizing how much is really being left out. To a certain degree i really wish i knew everything about the relationship of my father and mother. On the phone with my sister my father swears that he loved my mother and that the both of us were conceived out of love. This i don't doubt because of the incredible capacity for love that both my sister and i have. The relationship died with one shot, from what i understand. My father cheated on my mother with one of his students (he was a teacher (chemistry?) at the time). It was a scandal that embarassed my mother as well as destroyed their relationship.

Even at 3 years old, i remember their final fight.

The ugly feelings lasted in my family for a very long time. My mother being the youngest girl in her family and the sweetest made it very difficult for the family. There is still a lot of lingering hatred. I, as a child, received the brunt of this hatred. I looked just like him, when i was 'bad' i was acting like him. i was made fun of for my name. i hid behind killy, so to speak; now that i think about it no one called me adolfo as i was growing up.

It wasn't so much of an issue at my wedding, being that it was in chicago and much of my family wasn't able to attend anway. Actually, my father's brother and sister showed up. Lynda's wedding is admittedly a much different story. Most of the family should be there.

So i am going to call my father and ask him to stay home.


  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger The Bat, at 8:18 PM  

  • This weekend we spent time with adolph and amber. This all started, as a matter of fact, as soon as adolph and i returned from central market after buying the fish for the fish fry; my sister was on the phone a blubbering mess. Poor carol had fielded the carol a few minutes before i showed up.

    We sat in the living room discussing it after i had gotten off the phone and had a short discussion about what was going on.

    Later, sitting around the chimenea i was really lamenting the fact that i had not thought earlier to call you guys to join us. (i think amber mentioned that you might have had other plans.) We got on the topic of your post that i failed to comment on - not that i didn't have a reply, but that the topic opened such a large can of worms that composing it became prohibitively time consuming. so instead we just around a fire and talked about it.

    I also found out that you are actually a writer by profession, which is very cool. If nothing else, your existence is verified everytime your by-line appears. I bought the sunday paper to see if you happened to have anything in the entertainment section, but sadly have not had time (even now) to look through it.

    By Blogger Killy, at 8:39 PM  

  • On the way to Houston this weekend Amber and I talked the whole way through, no music at all as far as I can remember. She asked me about my parents and my take on whatever happened back when and I talked about my theories. In reality though, my parents are mysterious to me. Their motivations for doing things or liking things or anything are outside my comprehension. I came to think of this in reading Killy's story. Maybe it is better not to know or understand?

    By Blogger Adolph, at 10:16 PM  

  • i love you brother - you by my side when I am walking down that aisle is an honor you deserve and never second thought. you have been the only constant man in my life and i am glad that you are and always will be that man. i know that angel will never fill the shoes you will always wear...your sister, lynda

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:40 AM  

  • For much of my life, i didn't care about why my mother and father were no longer together. My sister was a very angry little girl; angry at my mother, angry and in love with her absent father at the same time. Feelings on the issue were noticibly absent from me ...

    After college i lived with him for a year while i worked as a teacher. Feelings started to bubble up one day while I was preparing a lesson on Frankenstien (how ironic!). I was sitting at my desk facing out the window and there was my father and the 9 year-old son of his current wife. Junior was dressed awkwardly in his youth football uniform and my father was on his knees tumbling on the grass with him.

    My mother, who could hardly afford food for us sometimes, made it a point to put me in little league. She would dutifully take me to practice where i would do horribly: i couldn't swing a bat, i could hardly catch, and i was scared of the ball. I want to say that she made every effor to practice with me, but i have to be honest. I don't remember if she did or not. I was a pathetic sportsman. I was benched most of the time; put into the outfield only when we were either hopelessly losing or so far ahead not even a monumental screw-up would mean a loss.

    So as my father and this stranger child rolled around in the grass all i could remember was getting punched in the face by a team-mate and not knowing what to do; i remember not being able to catch a fly ball; i remember my mother lamenting later in life how she knew i needed a man in my life to show me how to be a man ...

    So i stood up from my desk and drove as far away as i could, but coudln't escape my father's decision 24 years earlier. without that, how would my life have been different? would i be struggling today? would i have smoked pot on a couch in san marcos? how many more sisters or brothers would i have had? would i have been smarter?

    Now i have a son, and i am keenly aware that everything i do affects his life, and that everything my father did affects his life through me, and what my father's father did to him affected his own decisions.

    Is it important to know what happened? I think so. I think we are all re-living our parents lives. In a year or so, i expect to have another child (just like my father and mother did) and perhaps at that time, someone will come into my life and i will be in a situation much like my fathers. What will i do? Will i succumb? No, i don't think i will because i know the consequences of doing it -I know i will damage my children and my wife and the children that they have and so on and so on...

    I think knowing is important, but even more important is using what you know ...

    By Blogger Killy, at 8:42 AM  

  • i think for me it is important to know why, because it will be easier for me to forgive him if it came from a tangible and reasonable source. it would be more painful to accept his behavior is from a lack of compassion for his own children. regardless, i am at the end of this query. my journey is over. i have fought for 30 years to receive a gesture of unconditional love and acceptance from my father. my new life will begin when i take my first step with angel as husband and wife. with that step i am lightening my load and releasing him from my person totally. it will be a happy day.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:12 AM  

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