Dad wrote me a nice note and, since I know he reads this blog, I thought I’d answer him here.
Your mom and I greatly enjoyed our visit to your home. I admired the work you have done and was pleased to participate in a small way via the work project putting up shelf brackets with you. The food you and Christy provided was all delicious and our trip to the restaurant was fun in many ways. The Scrabble games were fun, too, even if I was beaten by some very good players.
Your gift of the Tin Roof Blowdown made the return trip seem short as we listened to all 5 CDs. It was a lively tale and gave us many new insights to the Katrina disaster. We are back home now and I’ve been cutting grass like a crazy man while your mother has been busy with a variety of tasks both indoor and out. Its a reminder that taking care of 10 acres and a big house is a lot of work.
Keep me posted on your continuing shelving progress.
With love from Oak Creek, Dad
PS: I forgot to mention the biggest reason for our trip, little Persephone. What a pleasure to see and hold that little darling. You and Christie have to be so very proud.
And speaking of little ones, I have to say that I loved meeting and getting to know Crybaby…. It was fun to see a kitty so small, so sweet, so pretty, and so dominant all at the same time.
Well, Dad, since your departure I’ve been pondering the following question: Since I have such nice parents, why am I such an insufferable prick? Seriously. Mom wondered aloud if you and I would still be talking when she and Xy got back from a stroll in the park with Persephone. And I know she said it because I was being pretty short with you.
It’s not just you. I feel like I’ve always been rather harsh with anyone who gets close to me. From a distance I expect I look pretty mellow. You have to get close to detect the rage that lurks within. I’ve tried to focus this rage on appropriate socio-political icons, but they are distant and friends are near. (Thus the old saying, “You always hurt the ones you love.” It’s a crime of opportunity.) So I get prickly, not to mention prickish, but in different ways and for different reasons, which I enumerate to myself in excruciating detail as I lie awake in bed at night.
After much soul-searching I’ve gotten a good look at this character flaw, and now I can characterize how it looks from the inside: Everyone I love just seems to piss me off in a different way.
The vitriol I direct at you, Dad, is therefore both universal and intensely personal. You’re my parent. After more soul-searching, I realize I have never forgiven you for creating me. I know that sounds bizarre. But see, from a very young age I’ve harbored a sense of impending doom, a feeling that this is going to end badly. We’ve all had moments when we wish we’d never been born, right? My hyper-logical mind has jumped to the brilliant conclusion that if I resent my own existence, as I have from time to time, I should blame my parents.
And as long as I’m revealing my inner madness, I should also mention the state of the world. Seems like it’s going to hell in a handbasket. Who to blame? Mom and Dad, of course.
I know that’s not fair or right, that it doesn’t even make sense. Now that I am a parent myself, I can see that more than ever. It’s never good to hold a grudge, but this one is especially terrible. Therefore, I am trying to let this go — to not be angry toward you (and Mom) but instead express that love I know you both feel for me and which you express so sweetly.
And I appreciated your help with all those crazy brackets. Couldn’t have done it without you. I’ve made a little more progress since you left:
Caption: Dad helped me put up the brackets. We put ’em "upside down" to accommodate some of the narrow pine planks I’d bought. After Dad left, I cut em in half, painted ’em green, mounted ’em, and immediately filled ’em with junk. Nice to have stuff on a shelf instead of the floor.
Now I’ve borrowed a router from a friend and am making some slightly fancier shelves for the other rooms.
Thanks for the help. Thanks for everything, Dad, and give my love to Mom.