I’ve mentioned a while back that my Grandmother had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I should add to that: both of my Grandmothers are suffering from it. The two of them are in varying states of illness, and probably don’t have much longer to live. Also one of them lives in New Jersey, the other one in California. Plane tickets from Colorado to either one of those states is out of my affordable price range, and so I’m not able to visit them.
During all this chaos, my father has somehow gotten a hold of my contact info and has been calling me constantly. Angry at my inability to visit my relatives, he usually begins his phone calls with, “hey you lazy bum, why can’t you get off your ass and visit your fucking Grandmother!?” My father has always been disappointed in me. I’ve never really been up to his standards; I never followed in his footsteps. Now, you’re probably wondering what he’s done to create such a massive shadow for me to live in. Let me give you three good guesses:
1. The CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
2. Maybe not a millionaire, but a hard-worker who’s always been financially secure and did a wonderful job providing for his family.
3. Constantly out of work due to his uncanny ability to get caught drinking on the job, taking his impotent, drunken rage out on his wife and son, taking a break to nod his head in strong agreement with the bull shit that spews out of Bill O’Reilly’s mouth.
If you guessed number three, then you would be right. That was more or less how I grew up: in constant fear of either getting my ass kicked at home, or finding myself without a home to call my own, the latter of which happened about two weeks after I graduated high school when I came home to find an eviction notice on the front door of my house (and the former of which happened far more often).
Very lofty standards for me to live up to.
Of course, he cannot afford to take a flight to NJ to see his dying mother, either. I’m not even sure if he’s even living in an actual home, and not bouncing from couch to couch convincing his drinking buddies to lend him the money to buy extra minutes for the pre-paid phone he uses to yell at me for being a loser. Irony is dead.
Eventually, he’ll quit calling. Something will come up; he’ll get tossed from wherever he’s staying, his phone will break, he’ll sober up and completely forget about me, or maybe after all these years I’ll finally Man Up and yell at him to shut the fuck up. Who’s to say.