I can’t say that I expected this to happen today. What, you may or may not be asking?
My father called me. Yeah, my very own father called me on my cell phone.
Actually, much more accurately, he called me by accident. How do I know that? Well, a great indication was that when he asked, “Who’s this?” When I answered with my name, (my government name, “Bryan”), he asked, “Bryan who?” Again, I paused, took a deep breath and said, “I’m your son”. I’d say that’s a pretty good indication of whether or not he knew whom he had called…by accident.
Both of us were in a group text sent by one of my older siblings. Obviously, the other phone numbers in the group text message had my siblings names attached. Also, it was obvious that my name/number is not in my fathers phone. This fact does not surprise me. So, I guess he was curious as to whom the orphan number belonged to… ”Orphan”, funny enough, is pretty accurate as to how I feel about the situation as a whole. My mother passed in 2002 and my father has never had a nice thing to say to me.
Early on in the “conversation”, I thought I was going to have to hang up on him and get on with my day. I didn’t want to do that, but we’ve never had a meaningful conversation in my life and I didn’t feel I had much to lose.
He settled down a bit, lost the attitude and we ended up talking for 5 hours, 29 minutes and 48 seconds.
Yeah…almost 6 hours. I’ve never had a normal conversation with him in my entire life. He’s the type of person that HAS to be in charge, so he kind of “talks at” people versus having a dialogue with them. That wasn’t going to happen with me today as I very willing and very ready to end the call.
For decades I’ve had people that know a little about the “situation”, tell me that I need to sit down and “write him a letter” to him…even if I don’t mail it. Honestly, I never saw the value in that, but maybe I’m an idiot.
It wasn’t a great conversation in that I didn’t really learn much about him, however, I got say a lot…and I mean a whole lot. Much of what would have been in “the letter” had I written one. It didn’t land too well as he denied most of it, but I was very calm and self-assured. I told him that I expected him to deny the things he said to me and that I wasn’t offended by it.
I also got a chance to thank him for the things that I am thankful for. I was never hungry or cold, ALWAYS knew where “home” was and grew up in a great neighborhood. It was a highly dysfunctional household, but it was home and I had a lot of fun with my mom and some of my younger siblings. I am thankful that he made a conscious decision to not raise us in my parents’ hometown of Chester, PA. I will never marginalize the importance of that and I will ALWAYS appreciate it.
When we finished the call things were civil between us, still guarded, but civil nonetheless. A small victory, maybe?
This man has NEVER, one single time, called me since I moved from Virginia Beach to New York and eventually Los Angeles on May 9th 1995.
I spent years trying to be a “good or decent son” and I would still call him during the holidays and on his birthday, but in the Summer of 2003, after him, once again, being nasty to me on the phone I said that I was done. It was just too painful for me and the only thing I was getting out of it was heartache and confusion. I could not understand why this man has such a distain for me.
I didn’t forget about him. I would always ask my brothers how he was doing. Always. Do I love him? In theory I love my father, like in a fantasy type of way, but I don’t live in a fantasy. I don’t know him to love him and I certainly don’t have a shred of evidence to say that he loves or even cares about me. Honestly, I truly feel as though I am dead to him.
Will we speak again? I honestly have no idea. Not. At. All. Kinda sucks…