My Father – 1929 to 2016 – When The Ocean Met The Sky – Part 4

“Your body may be gone, I’m gonna carry you in.
In my head, in my heart, in my soul.
And maybe we’ll get lucky and we’ll both live again.
Well I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. Don’t think so.
Well that is that and this is this.
You tell me what you want and I’ll tell you what you get.
You get away from me.”

I’m a father.

 

I have Lorelei.

 

She is the absolute light of my life. She lives with me. I never lie to her. She’s been with me since she turned 18 because she could no longer survive in the hostile environment of living with her mother. I only lasted 7 years with that woman. But my daughter was a prisoner with her for nearly two decades until she finally escaped at the age of majority.

Dad….

Why would you create more drama around your death? Was your going not enough?

Was your LIFE not enough???

Were we not enough?

 

You and your fucking ring. You give me your fake college ring, your mistress’s high school ring and your dog tags.

I was looking through some of the effects that you left me. I didn’t understand the 1964 Northeast High School ring that was among the stuff you left me.

But upon closer inspection I realized last week while editing this mess, that you never attended Northeast High school.

1964?

I’m looking at that ring in my hand right now. It doesn’t fit on my finger. That’s a girl’s ring.

And then I saw the inscription.

EBR

Why did you leave this to me?

That’s Eileen Barbara Ried’s High School ring.

Who became Eileen Lentz.

The love of your life.

Yea, I know man. I know how all of that works. I get all of it.

That woman that makes you feel better than anyone you know in the world.

I’ve been there.

We never get to keep them, Dad.

They belong to other people.

We only get to stop in and love them for a brief period of time. Because guys like us are unable to do that.

Yea we’re alike in some ways.

 

I’ve accepted that about myself.

 

I met Eileen. Lovely lady. I get it. You and mom were a decision based on tradition. Eileen was your secretary that became the love of your life. Again, I get it. I’ve lived the very same thing dad.

You made me.

I remember you drilling me in the basement over my studies and multiplication tables and telling me I would never amount to anything. How I should never be a victim, but in that moment that’s exactly what you were manufacturing.

I was your victim.

I’m a child.

There’s nothing I can do.

You have absolute power. I can’t even fight back or contact the authorities.

I remember you said you would actually take my woman from me, because I would be such a loser, she would rather be with him than me.

I was 12.

Readers. I have been writing Phicklephilly for two and a half years. Writing has opened my mind and past to so many roads that have been long forgotten.

Think about what my father said to me.

I’m so awesome, I’ll steal your girlfriend because you’re a piece of shit if you don’t become what I want.

I can’t make this up. I know it’s the holidays and I wrote this after his death and I couldn’t bring myself to publish before, but I am going to say everything here.

It will be true and I need to do this.

 

Be a man of your word. Your word is your bond.

 

Dad… Listen to yourself. I’m an artist, a musician, and a writer. I have anxiety and depression. I made it into art and music and a successful sales career.

You broke me as a kid. I’ve been spending my life crawling up from that and being the low self esteemed over archiever, million dollar producer in everything I do.

Fuck you.

You never had an original thought in your head in your life.

I know for a fact you are just a collection of shit you read or things you heard from other people.

You’re data is good, but dude. For fuck’s sake, you could never relinquish your OCD power.

Let’s face it.

The Temple ring?

Really?

I get it.

You dropped out of high school and felt ashamed. You joined the Army. Awesome. But everybody in your whole life thought you graduated from Temple with a four-year degree. You went there to get your GED (That’s getting your high school degree) and you hooked up with my Mom.

Tim gets the 3 diamonds because he worshiped you. That’s what you wanted from your father but never got.

And you never got it from me, because you couldn’t possibly fail as a father to your son, but you did.

You gave me a lot of good, but the negative ran so close to the parallel of the positive it has always been hard to tell.

Think of how shallow you are. You’re so disappointed in your son that you pass your diamonds on to your grandson. Dude, for fuck’s sake. it’s so obvious. Your son is a loser. but you love your grandson who basically worships you and plays greatest hits with you so you’ll leave your dumb jewelry legacy with because you failed as a father to the son you never understood. The sin you were ashamed of. The son you beat like how you broke your wife with your words and deeds.

“After I gave you a licking I would go downstairs and watch TV and eat Breyers ice cream. It tasted like mud.”

Really dad? I’m in physical pain, terrified and crying in my bed reading comic books and you are struggling with your dessert?

 

FUCK YOU.

 

You left me your dog tags and your dog’s, dog tags. I don’t give a shit about any of that.

Why the fuck would I want any of that?

Oh, and that button with the picture of Barbara Sweetman. Why Dad? Yea, I know she was your last affair on mom in the 80’s.

Why do you have to leave this dead bird on my step?

I don’t give a shit.

You’ve proudly told me all about your affairs and frankly, I don’t even know why you ever married.

Probably for the reasons I did.

 

You simply thought its was the right thing to do at the time.

 

Republican thinking…. as you once said to me.

 

 

Don’t worry dad, I’m sure future blogs will be so much sweeter, but this one just came forth it being the holidays and all. (I wrote this piece in 2017 when I was still reflecting on your loss. I don’t feel this way now. I forgive everybody)

I continue to grow, and wonder why you never did anything after age 62 when you retired. You would have been awesome in a deli or a toy train store or a wine store.

Why did you just stop?

 

I want to keep the train rolling until I die.

 

I don’t want to end up parked in a station. (And I certainly won’t leave a dramtic note to my daughter)

 

I’m going to run this train until it goes of the fucking tracks.

 

I’m sure Mom enjoys the quiet away from you.

 

I know this may sound a little angry, but as you all know, nobody lives rent free in my head anymore.

I’m not angry at you. This post is a year old. I’ve forgiven everyone a long time ago. My mind and heart are clear. This piece just burst forth out of nowhere a year ago.

 

I just didn’t have the guts to release it.

 

This is also not a dig on my nephew.

 

He’s a fine boy and I love that kid.

 

And dad… at the end of this, I’ll say this. For where you came from, you are an amazing man.

I get it at my age. You did the best you could with what you knew and the tools you had.

I get it.

All is forgiven. The joy you brought to this family is greater than all of your sins.

 

Life is fleeting and fragile. Enjoy yourself.

 

 

Philadelphia, PA, USA

Author: phicklephilly

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5 thoughts on “My Father – 1929 to 2016 – When The Ocean Met The Sky – Part 4”

  1. My heart breaks, at reading this, and I was weighing myself and my son, the whole time. I come out better, as a father,on balance-but no one gets off scot free in this world. What really set me off, though, is how could your father EVER say to you, that you would not amount to anything in this life. You have proven him wrong, Charles, and you will continue to do so. Lorelei is fortunate.

    1. Thank you for your words and support. I’m fine. I worked through it all years ago but when he passed certain things rose quickly to the surface. But writing this got it all out. Again I write this piece some time ago but could only bring myself to release it now.

  2. Man, I have no words.

    It’s tough being a parent. It’s not my place to make excuses for your Dad so I won’t….Thankfully, you’re a much better parent than he ever was. (Sigh)

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