Dear Dad

by me

I hate you. But not with intense burning. I hate what you represent. You were my childhood monster and torturer. Believe me, I have cried because of you. I could fill an ocean with those tears. I wanted you to suffer, and to die. And now, with you laying in the ICU from a heart attack and open heart surgery, my wish just might come true. You who broke my heart, had yours cut open. My mom and sister went to visit you. You weren’t awake. They don’t actually want to interact with you. They are all broken up about it, roiling with emotions. But I just can’t find any for you. Not even pity, that cloying, sticky, disgusting feeling. You loved pity. After you’d beat me, you’d come crying to me apologizing. And I would say, in my grown up voice, how you needed to learn to control your anger. Gross. Your teeth. I remember your bared teeth when you were angry. It’s starting, I knew. And we never knew what would set you off. Always full of surprises, you were. When my sister came to visit you or her own, the nurse said immediate family only, and she said I’m his daughter. The nurse said, he said he has no children. Imagine her shock! Even in an emergency, you find ways to surprise us. Part of me wants to send you flowers with a note saying, “I hope you die soon!” But a bigger, healthier part of me just wants to move this topic back to the file room, the archives, where it belongs. And then, when you do really, finally die, I can bring out those dusty files and have a celebratory bonfire. I will dance with joy. Or maybe, I’ll just unceremoniously dump the files in the garbage. Yes, I keep those files. I know I “shouldn’t.” But I know how you are. Ever the sneaky, cunning bastard delighting in sabotage. It wouldn’t be that hard to find me. To terrorize me again, and even worse, my family. That’s why I still hold onto those files. Just in case I might need them. How nice it will be to get rid of them when you’re gone. How much relief. How much weight removed, jettisoned. And so, I’m going back to my life now. One that is beautiful and meaningful and joyful and full of love. One where you don’t exist and aren’t invited. That’s where I’m turning my full focus now. That’s where I belong.