Monday, June 15, 2009

A Father's Day Revisited

I first posted this over two years ago, on June 14, 2007. For some reason, I feel compelled to return to it today.

This is my seventh year being a father, my fifth as a single parent. As I see it; I'm supposed to "gently guide" my son, Zoltar Chi (couldn't resist giving him a cool Eve-type name), into accepting Responsibility for his actions, determining Right from Wrong, acting Selfless in all deeds, and yet remain a Child in all else - that is; until the curly hairs kick in and puberty brings Santa's ultimate betrayal, cigarettes, and internet porn. Thank God I have my Mother to help me. She raised three boys by herself, with no help from my father. The senior Kamir Chi slept on the couch in our living room for almost two years, unwilling to have anything to do with us. I was ten years old at the time. I remember him as a ghost around the house, never coming to the kitchen table, retiring to his tiny "office" upstairs where he kept stacks of Playboy in a file cabinet (not a bad find when you're ten years old, believe me). Then in the morning, as we got ready for school, we had to stay quiet because he was still asleep on the couch.

He left the house completely when I was twelve. My younger brother barely remembers him. My mother tells the story of when Dano Chi (snicker; can't help it) broke his arm; he was so excited because "Dad HAD TO COME and see him now!" He didn't.

I only remember three times my father took me anywhere. To RFK Stadium to watch the Washington Senators battle it out with the Cleveland Indians. This game was a turning point in my life; the score was 0-0 after NINE boring ass innings, until the Indians managed one run. This effectively killed baseball for me. Forever.

Another time was at the old Washington Colliseum, in the deepest, darkest part of our Nation's Capitol. There I saw the World Wide Wrestling Federation (now called the WWE). I remember watching in awe how these HUGE fucking guys could throw each other around. Of course at that age, I had no concept of "scripted" matches. I cheered the good guys, booed the bad guys - but I'll always remember what happened after the show. The house lights came on, the crowd began to leave, and my father let me go up to the ring! I remember peeking under it and seeing a large microphone set underneath the canvas. Ahhhh! So this is why they stomp their feet as they punch their opponents! Why body slams happen in the center of the ring! That microphone captured every THUD and echoed it through the small cramped building like a thunderclap! It suddenly dawned on me - you can always make things better than they really are.

Still another time was an all-day rock concert, back at RFK Stadium. The only groups I remember were Claude Jones (a local D.C. band), Grand Funk Railroad, and guitar god Duane Allman with the Allman Brothers Band. I was already playing guitar, and seeing a rock concert was a revelation - and Duane Allman was an inspiration! I guess I have to credit Dad for this one!

The point is though; I only remember three outings. Now, I over-compensate with my son. We go somewhere at least once a week. I never miss a soccer game, or a soccer practice. Even if its just a movie, or kicking around the ball in front yard - he is doing something with Dad. I don't have the money to give him everything he wants, but I can give him memories.

And my father? Well, we know he's not dead because the Social Security Administration would have notified my Mother. Never heard from him. Doesn't even know he has a grandson. Fuck you, Dad. Happy Father's Day.

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