Sunday, December 21, 2008

I Am My Father's Son

So it ends so it begins
I'm my father's son
Plant another seed of hate
in a father's son

I must have been about seven or eight. I was still dressed in my dark, navy blue trousers, white striped Ralph Lauren polo, and some nautical off-brand moccasins. I was looking rather spiffy. Come to think of it, I always looked spiffy growing up as a poor black boy. My mother was a hardworking woman who would wear scrappy dresses and undone shoes, so I could wear Ralph Lauren. I LOVE HER FOR THAT.

Anyways, my mother, grandmother, and I were in some department store; I think Sears. We were looking at pots and pans and out the corner of my eyes, I spotted this crazy-looking man and I just could not take my eyes off of him. He had a dark complexion and terrible skin. His face was bumpy. He was skinny and short. He was with this fat lady who had patted down, nappy hair. When he laughed, I realized that on top of his awful, awful, appearance, he had a nerve to be missing his front tooth. I thought that this man was a wreck, and even at the young age of seven, other people wrecks made me laugh! I had this loud, boisterous, obnoxious, laughter. My mother hated it and still hates it. As soon as I started laughing, my grandmother and mother heads turned instantly, and before they could give me that evil, you better cut your shit short eye, my mother looked like she had just seen the devil himself. I will never forget her stoic, blank face. What was happening? I stoped laughing quickly. Being a true, true Mama's Boy, I sensed that something was wrong and my stomach turned sour. My mother walked me over to that ugly man and the uglier woman standing beside him.

She then uttered words that I will never forget. "Eugene this is your son. Jay this is your dad". I looked around all over. That hideous, drunk man was my father. I had never seen a picture of him and nobody talked about him. I made up these fantasies about who he was and what he looked like, but now I was looking at a man who I thought was really ugly and really drunk. The first thing that ran through my mind was that this meant I was ugly too. He was ugly. I was ugly. I kept replaying that in my mind.

All Eugene said was, "hey son. I'm your dad".

I just looked. He and my mom went back and forth for about thirty seconds. My grandmother was just standing there, squeezing my hand, doing some serious gagging herself. Didn't he know about Doughnuts for Dads? My elementary school had this shit every year and every year I made up some new lie why my daddy could not come. My dad did not even say bye to me. His last words were "Call me sometimes." Where the hell was I going to get his number? I did not cry that day. I bled.

P.S. I still feel ugly.

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