Monday, 1 December 2008

Sometimes the Sun and No More Always Looking

I should not be typing this. I had been planning to write this post, this auspicious post ... but I should be icing Tigers cupcakes for school tomorrow ... wrapping his pressies ... drumming up freelance work ... being busy and productive.

But, I looked at my blog stats, and someone came to my blog via googling "SOMETIMES THE SUN AND NO MORE ALWAYS LOOKING." In capitals, shouting and demanding. And I related to it's bad grammar, and for the umpteenth time today I thought of the date today, and what it meant, and how much I have changed.

Exactly twenty years ago today was the worst day of my life. Most traumatic, awful, fucked up bullshit day. It was the day my dad killed himself. Technically, he was my stepdad ... but after eleven years, and after my real dad had died four years prior ... I called him dad and thought of him as dad. Confusing.

He was a shit stepdad. Pretty fucking crap. But he loved my brother so much and that was enough for me. I love my bro. We talk a lot. We tell each other everything. I worry for him. I worry a lot.

Tigers due date was this date. (He wasn't born on this day, though). After so many years of hating this date, I had an amazing reason to look forward to it. It changed everything.

Twenty years on, I have proof that time indeed does heal. Not entirely ... I have scars from that time that will remain forever. Sometimes I feel tough, and proud of my scars. Other times, I feel so sad and fucked up. Meh.

Now, I don't feel that much towards my stepdad. I sit here, trying to have respect, trying to write out some positive aspects of his personality ... what he taught me, things I can hold on to.


Once, when I was about ten, I entered a Fathers Day radio competition. You had to ring up and say on air, what your dad did for you. I got on the air ... the announcer asked me what my dad for me. I stammered, and stumbled - realising to my horror that I could not think of one thing. Not one. I had to make something up. I told her feebly that he fixes my rollerskates. (I was quite the rollerskater in my youth. I still have a pair today.)

I didn't win. He never would have been bothered to fix my rollerskates anyway.

Actually, he did teach me a few things ....

1) How to fix his drink in the evenings. Johnny Walker Red Label Scotch, with dry ginger ale.

2) How not to be a step-parent

3) When you light a fire, start from the back first. That way, you won't burn yourself as you light it at the front.

4) Suicide is wrong. On so many levels. DO. NOT. KILL. YOURSELVES. When he was just eight years old, my brother lost his beloved dad. He talks to me about it. I tell him about how my real dad is dead. But I wasn't as close to my real dad as he was to his. Ugh ... dead dads, everywhere!

In conclusion, thank you, stepdad. For teaching me how to light fires.

But I taught myself how to put them out.


Rachel Inbar said...

Awwww :-(

My dad wasn't so great when I was little (mostly too strict and suffered from rage) but since he's mellowed, it's pretty awesome to have him around. (My parents actually live up the street from me, though my mom is currently off being a tour guide in Vietnam.)

Vacant Uterus said...

Scars are a sign of healing, dear Topcat, a sign that what was once laid bare is now smoothed over. It's changed, not the same. But bonded together, healed over. Try to think about that.


Wordgirl said...

Tears in my eyes dear TC. There is something about fatherlessness that I can't transmit to anyone but another woman who understands it, and has lived through it -- and come out, somehow, as it seems we might have, on the other side.

It's big and yawning and deep and always there --but our balancing above it and our courage to do so -- that makes us strong --

Oh how I understand this post my friend. Last year was the first in many that the anniversary of my father's death didn't haunt me.

Love and a warm, tight embrace to you my friend.



bleu said...

#4 is probably pretty good advice too but how fricking sucky to have been taught it that way.

Learning what to do as a parent from the "what you didn't get or what not to do" handbook of your own life DOES teach a lot but it is a hard way to learn. I learned how to love unconditionally by very much NOT having it from my own parents.

Love to ya TC, much much.

annacyclopedia said...

Much love and light to you, TC. Sorry for the drive-by comment, but I'm catching up with the absurd number in my reader, and still struggling with the plutonium limbs.

Keeping you in my prayers - today and always.

Tee said...

Oh come on mate he taught us way more than that. Here's just a few:

1. How to let off the most excruciatingly disgusting farts in a car full of family, with all the windows up and not acknowledge it at all so the kids in the car have to pretend along with the adults that farts that are almost wet they are that dense and smell like off bbq chicken are completely normal and therefore not to be acknowledged! This would be useful for the commuter on a train or bus...
2. How to go through life looking like a garden gnome, completely personality-free, yet retain the arrogance of a lion with a hard-on.
3. How to completely kill the spirit of a teenage girl by one withering look.

There, see? Plenty of education in that!

Happy twenty year anniversary D you stupid fuck...

rex said...

Or what about :

1. Trivial Pursuit is full of "very gettable questions"
2. We were "seldom good but well"
3. How to dress like a fucked up train driver with all those "titfers"

I am SO fine without you in my life D you silly prick, never liked you in it anyway....

Evil Stepmonster said...

I'm glad that today (the 2nd) has helped heal some of your earlier scars. A big happy birthday to Tiger! I hope you its a great day at Chez TC.

Topcat said...

MY SISTERS. Oh my God, thank God for you two crazy bitches. XOX

A Free Man said...

Man. This is outstanding. And, while Iknow that voice with tongue in cheek, way to keep positive. You'd think you were in recovery or something.


Me said...

"We know what not to do, when it comes to raising children."

My mother taught me this as well.

Anonymous said...

you are amazing. such a deep sea...

Stacie said...

Your last line says it best, "But I taught myself how to put them out." It tells so much about how strong and determined you are. Even when everything is at its worst, you will survive and keep being the wonderful you.

And where is the picture of you in roller skates? :-)

MrsSpock said...

OK, Tee's comment about the BBQ chicken farts has me running to the john to hurl my dinner...

Anonymous said...