I observe that it makes you cry every time you watch it. Even though you made the video yourself. You tell me it’s because it’s sad, all of the things he missed out on. Of the things he didn’t learn to know about me.
Well some of that, I am quick to say, was his own doing. Some he just happens to have been dead for. Have been dead for. That makes it seem like suddenly, someday, he won’t be dead anymore. That he’ll just appear at the door again and say it’s time to whip my butt at ten thousand again. Whenever i close my eyes and think of a happy memory, i am almost immediately tempted to replace it with a bad one. I guess that’s easier. Easier to hold against you the things you weren’t here for than the ones you can’t be and won’t be. The ones from here onward of course are not your fault.
But i guess, two years and four months after your death, and i still prefer to think of the bad. not think of the good that we had. Prefer not to think about the good you can’t be here for. Even if you wanted to, you can’t be now. just when i think i have this whole grief thing figured out, dealt with, finished with it, you’re still giving me new perspectives on how to see you. Just like when you were alive. Maybe you’re a part of me that i’ll never be able to have peace with. I really hope that’s not the case.
Maybe you would have impressed with me if you saw me today. maybe not. I can’t look in the mirror. I don’t know when it started, i just can’t look in the mirror. i cringe when i see my reflection in the phone or the mirrors in the car. I finally have a medicine that works. But i don’t know if you would call that a medical breakthrough, or me growing out of a phase. If you would think i’m attention seeking by not being able to even fake looking in the mirror. How that was what i worked on in group therapy. having a full on panic attack the first day. Would you hug me, would you get emotional, tell me that you think i’m beautiful. would i say you have to say that, you’re my dad. for that one moment would you not mention my thighs, and would you see me as hurt and in need of a kind word? Or would you roll your eyes, shuffle your feet, and look away like you weren’t there with me?
it seems like every time i seem to be done writing about you, there’s more. and you’ll never read or hear any of it. i’m not angry about it anymore. i’m trying to embrace anger and sadness. though anger is easier. i’m sad that i won’t know how you would have reacted. sad that i was so close to being an adult. that we would have been so much closer, since you always were better with adults. maybe i wouldn’t have walked on egg shells around you anymore. Maybe you would have gone to group therapy with me, and it would be you that sang in front of a circle of parents and my peers. Maybe it would have been you that hugged me tight in front of everyone. maybe you would have confessed your skepticism that my mind’s sick. maybe they would have told you and maybe you would have listened and realized how much i missed you.
or maybe it would have stayed the same. maybe you would have seen my unemployment as modern teenage laziness. maybe you would have seen my dark, obsessive, completely unproductive days as a character flaw of mine.
so maybe it’s a shame that he sees what you don’t. knows me like you won’t. maybe it’s too bad. maybe i’m worth something. maybe i would have been worth something to you.
but maybe i wouldn’t.
so maybe it’s too bad that you can’t see me as an adult.
or maybe it’s not too bad after all.