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Sometimes anger is easier - Sing With Me If It's Just For Today...
If I should fall behind, Guyster, wait for me.
guysterrules
guysterrules
Sometimes anger is easier
It’s been thirty-four days since I buried my dad . I’ve only spoken to Sheila three times in the past month, each conversation adding very little to color in the open spaces of a grim picture that I found my dad’s life to be. After several calls to her cell phone, she finally answered about three weeks ago, and our talk was short.

Her voice was low, almost apologetic. I was pacing in the “serenity garden,” a spit of grass and flowers with winding concrete walks that all eventually lead back to the doors of my office building, and I begged her to please explain how my dad had ended up so badly.

“He was happy, Terry. He was, you know, he didn’t scrimp. He was happy.”

“But what happened to his money, Sheila?”

“The government! They been after him for years. He owed taxes and they been after him.”

I let it drop. I didn’t argue that the IRS only carries unpaid taxes for seven years, that he’d been retired since ’88, that he couldn’t have had all that much debt since he owned nothing. I fell silent.

“I know you want to know things, Terry. I know. Someday we’ll talk.”

“When, Sheila? I just really—“

“I know.” I could tell I’d reached the end of the conversation, told her to give MacKenzie my love, and said goodbye.

The second time we talked, she called me, or rather MacKenzie spoke when I answered my cell phone that announced Sheila. I made as much conversation as I could with a three-year old. She thought at first she was talking to my dad then for a few confusing seconds, I could hear her disappointment. Shelia took the phone from her daughter and said she’d call me right back. She called me last Friday, three weeks later.

I could tell immediately that she was high, hollering about being in a lawyer’s office, and how I should investigate the hospital for malpractice.

“Something’s wrong there, Terry. The nurse told me they had to move him to another room. There was no reason they had to give him that emergency surgery. Something is wrong.”

What’s wrong, you drug-addled psychotic bitch, is that you started my dad on crack when you were fucking him twenty years ago! You bled him of his wife, his kids, his grandkids, him money, and his life, you piece of ghetto shit! I didn’t say that. I’m too afraid of losing the trail, too scared that I’ll never figure out the timeline of his descent, and just as frightened of finding out the answers.

I haven’t mourned for my dad in the past thirty-four days. I told my therapist that I felt guilty about not crying for him, but rather feeling anger and pity that obliterates any sorrow I may have. I said I felt worse about losing Bob . She nodded and said she couldn’t count the number of times her clients have told her exactly the same thing.

It’s been three years, three months, and eighteen days since Billy went away. Now that, I told her, was something I still refuse to accept. Ten tissues of snot and tears later, balled up so tight in my hands that if they weren’t there I would’ve drawn blood from my palms, I hugged my therapist and walked to my car.

The sky was a dark purple, the twilight glimpsing through thick storm clouds. the threat of rain teasing me with the sweet relief that comes from a downpour. By the time I pulled into my apartment building, the sky was crying, crying so hard that no one would notice my wet face.

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Comments
creactivity From: creactivity Date: May 11th, 2005 02:31 am (UTC) (Link)
I know you're afraid of losing the trail, but haven't you just described, fairly succinctly, what happened? I mean, you know what happened. And you also know you're not going to get the kind of details you want from someone who played a part in it and still would be if he were alive.
stutts From: stutts Date: May 11th, 2005 02:57 am (UTC) (Link)
I was going to respond with exactly this same thought. You can keep after this woman until doomsday and she'll never tell you the truth.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: May 12th, 2005 01:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're right, of course. I keep thinking I'm wily enough to surprise something out of her, but the wall of her addiction can outplay me every time, I fear.

I just feel like I need to do something. I hate this.
ubermunkey From: ubermunkey Date: May 11th, 2005 03:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Not only will she not tell you the truth, she'll string you along, and if you ain't careful she'll suck you in. Slowly, addictively, tentatively at first, till she owns you. Till your own hope smothers and controlls you.

Hugs and good vibes bub, it ain't easy, but be well
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: May 11th, 2005 01:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know you're right. I know it in my heart. I'm just having a hard time makiung peace with it, and I hate her.
ridiculicious From: ridiculicious Date: May 11th, 2005 02:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
I feel your pain. Hope you are able to work through it.
privatesector From: privatesector Date: May 11th, 2005 03:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, sometimes anger IS easier because it's something you can control, more or less.

Perhaps it's a given that you won't get all or nearly all the answers you need. We rarely do.

PS
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guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: May 12th, 2005 01:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've thought of hiring a PI, and I have good access to a firm from my job. The cost, however, is high and the results uncertain.

Hate is bad, I know, and I think it will burn out of my system and just become a dull ache.
gray_fluid From: gray_fluid Date: May 11th, 2005 07:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
your father's decent was very tragic. this woman sounds like a typical addict who does not take reponsibility for her actions. she's raising a 3 year old?

you asked yourself an important question. are you really ready for the answers you seek? also, what does knowing them do for you?



unrelated, but inspired by your post,, i think i'm going to the cemetary today to see if the plaque/marker thing has been set..
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: May 12th, 2005 01:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Seeing the marker for the first time is an regretfully unforgettable experience. I hope everything turned out the way you had envisioned.
cricketshay From: cricketshay Date: May 11th, 2005 07:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
I hate to echo everyone else, but I don't think Sheila will ever be honest with you. Please be careful T. I don't want her to lead you on a wild goose chase that will only hurt you more in the end.

Everyone deals with grief in different ways. You shouldn't feel guilty about not crying yet or being more upset about losing Bob. We love our parents, but I think we form stronger bonds with our mates. There will come a time when you will be able to grieve for your father. Being angry is definitely easier than sorrow.

Hang in there. You're in my thoughts. Wish I could give you a huge hug right about now.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: May 12th, 2005 01:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you. I know you're right. It just burns me right now. The fire will dampen, and somehow I'll find peace with it. I think the mystery of it is getting me a little crazy.
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guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: May 12th, 2005 01:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Amen.
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