I mean, he’s not dead or anything. At least I don’t think he is. The fact of the matter is, I don’t know if he is or not. See, my family is full of people who are mentally interesting, and that includes myself and my father.
A little backstory if you’ll indulge me. My parents got divorced when we (my twin and I) were about seven… I think. Dates and times are not my friend. I have Dyscalculia and don’t remember even important dates. It’s tough sometimes. Anyway, my parents divorced when we were young, and even though I didn’t remember my dad much, I always had this… attachment to him. My mom was constantly ridiculing me for it, but I could never shake it. He stuck around for a while after the divorce, a little less than a year. Then he dropped off the face of the Earth for about eleven years. No one heard hide nor hair from him until we were in our early twenties. Then one day out of the blue, I got a phone call from him saying, “Hey, it’s your dad.” like nothing ever happened.
And we talked. We mended fences, I even moved in with him for a little while after my own divorce. I thought we were getting along swimmingly then bam! He dropped of the face of the Earth again, and that was about… fourteen? years ago. Maybe fifteen. I dunno. Could be longer. No one in my family has heard from him since. The last I heard about him, he was living in the hills of West Virginia and didn’t want nuthin’ to do with nobody. He claimed that everyone just wanted something from him and he was having none of it. That was the story anyway. That was about ten years go. I haven’t heard anything since. I really do miss him though. He would be around… (breaking out the calculator…) 72 years old right now. Him and my mom are the same age. I know where my mom lives because she keeps in touch with my baby brother and he fills me in on her wheres and whatfors. She and I are estranged. It’s a long story.
As a matter of fact, other than two of my brothers, I am estranged from the rest of my family. That’s a choice I made a few years ago. My mother and I have been at odds for many decades, and my kids… well my the relationship between myself and my children is complicated. I love my kids, but they do not see the world the way I do. They are forever holding on to the past and grudges that should have been left behind a long time ago. Many people in my family are like that, and I can’t do that. I also can’t deal with it, so I’m here if they need me, but I’m not going to be in a toxic relationship, even if it’s with my kids.
Anyway, this is about my dad. It hurt me when he vanished the second time, because I kind of understood why it happened the first time — my mom drove him away. She fully admitted that at the time. The second time though, it brought back a lot of hurt feelings. Dear reader, when I was a teenager, I spent years looking for him — this was pre-internet, so you can imagine how difficult it was. I called strangers on the phone with the same name hoping that I would find him. I guess that I romanticized who he was in my teenage mind because life with my neglectful mom and abusive step-dad sucked so much and I thought that maybe my dad would realize he loved us and take us away from all that. You know how teenagers are. There was a lot of angst there. So when he just disappeared again without so much as a by-your-leave, it hurt. It hurt a lot. I’m over it now, I mean that was a while ago. But I miss him sometimes. I mean, I love my dad. If he called me tomorrow, I’d talk to him. Just like I talked him the first time he called me. I probably wouldn’t invite him over to dinner right away, but I’d talk to him. I mean, it would be nice to know if he’s alive at least.