I’ve seriously debated about posting this entry. I don’t normally have to debate with myself about hitting the “publish” button once I get the idea into my head to make a post about something. I’ve mentioned before how much I don’t really care if what I say offends someone or if I’m wrong or if I’m coming off as a jackass. It comes down to my blog, my place, and I’ll write about what I want and how I want. However, it should tell you just the level of personal that this entry has been in trying to write. It should also tell you how very personal it is by the fact that I’ve actually debated not mentioning it, but I have no problem discussing the dissolution of my marriage or any of my other past traumas.
Thing is that I’ve debated about doing this as a private entry, as password protected, and not at all. But, as much as I don’t want to write it, I know that’s because I don’t want to face what I’m having to look to. I also don’t feel ready, but evidently, my head is saying otherwise. What it comes down to is that just because I’m actively fixing and manipulating and working on various past traumas, it doesn’t mean the rest are all on the back burner, just waiting around.
Sometimes, they smack you in the face with how important they really are.
On Saturday, October 13th, it was the twenty-second anniversary of my father’s death. Now, I haven’t quite come out and said how old I am in a while, so I’ll reiterate it here. I’m twenty-nine years old and for twenty-two of those years, the only father figure I have had has been a made up reconstruction in my mind’s eye of what I think my daddy would be like now. I’ve always envisioned him in a white-and-black plaid, long-sleeved button down with a black mustache and thinning black hair. This is because the sole picture that I keep of him from my youth is of him and me, and guess what he looks like? The man was thin – cadaverous on occasion – and tall. He wasn’t the epitome of a “big, strong man” but in my father figure-head image, he is. My mom used to tell me that he would say he would sit on the front porch with a shotgun when I got to dating age and that always stayed with me. I mean, a lot of things have stayed with me, obviously since he’s my dad, but I think that commentary clicked his “superman” persona in my head. He would protect me from the people who could hurt me.
Only he wasn’t there to do so.
My dad died of AIDS in 1990. This was back when it was still the “gay disease” but they were making headway with that. He was not gay. He was not an intravenous drug user. He did not get into a car accident and get a tainted batch of blood. This should all tell you without my having to spell it out how he contracted the disease. This should all tell you without my having to spell it out that his death has been very hard on me, my mother, and my little brother. While I’m still not sure if my little brother has figured out how my dad contracted the disease, I know that knowing how he got it for me has been hard. It’s probably a thousand times worse on my mom, but for me, it’s hard. It rips away my “superman” image and destroys it with it having barely begun.
My daddy was a man who I have always loved and I have always missed.
So, I went to the cemetery with good intentions. I’ve worked with my father, a bit, since his death. I’ve utilized my Tarot of the Dead to communicate with him, even though he is not very fond of it. He threw out my mom’s Tarot cards when they got together (and a lot of other things I would have been interested in knowing and seeing, besides). My aunt once told me that he used to be scared of things like the Boogy man under the bed and that he had a thing for the supernatural. Considering what he did to my mom’s “supernatural” things, I have to wonder when that changed. I think, and I know I’m rambling but I’ll get to things when I get to them, something happened to him at one point that made him change his mind about all that stuff. It makes you wonder what it was, but I’ll never know. He’s not around to talk to about it anymore. And he’s curiously reticent about speaking to me through my Tarot or in my dreams. I kind of get the feeling that he watches and watches, but isn’t interested in talking. If my memories of my dad are any indicator, this is just him being him.
When I first got to the cemetery, I was fine. I had a plan. I would leave offerings, do some inner chatter, and get some graveyard dirt. I’ve been wanting to grab graveyard dirt from his grave for a while, but it never felt appropriate. There was something in the air, though, and I knew that it was time. The time was right so I brought a jar to hold it in along with a pen and tape so I would know when it was collected and whose grave it belonged to. But, the second I showed up to his grave, I got upset. I got angry when I saw how careless it was. It was overgrown. There were leaves covering his name. It looked like I was the last one to visit… in August. And I was so upset and angry.
It was like, why? Why? I feel like I’m the only person who does this. I feel like I am the only person, in the entire family, who goes out and tends to him and visits and just is while near him. His entire family is up here. My mother and my little brother are over three thousand miles away, but that’s a convenient and obvious excuse. The rest of the family is nearby, all around, and in some cases right down the street, so why was I the first one to visit him on his anniversary? Why had no one else come down to clear back the grass or to push back the detritus from the tree up above? And I felt like I had always felt in my childhood after his death: alone, lost, looking for a place to call home and never, ever finding it. I’ve mentioned it in another place, but the thing is that after my daddy’s death, I never felt comfortable with the family unless we were with my [now dead] grandmother. It felt like we were shunted to the side as family members because the blood relation was dead. And though my brother is still blood related, my mother and I weren’t and we were outsiders.
But the detritus made me so angry because it felt like I was the only one left who cared. And I could think of comments and tears and murmured apologies from family members who have made me feel unwanted, undesired, and uncomfortable. They were all words about how they would miss my father and yet… if you missed him so much, wouldn’t you just pop in and say hi at the cemetery once in a while? I really just felt like the only one who cared.
I cleared away the mind trash. It wasn’t important. I went about my business.
I cut out a hole in the grass and collected my dirt. I pushed the leaves away. I cut back the grass that was threatening to cover up his stone reminder. I washed it down with water and cleared away the mud. I brushed away the bugs and the goose poop and I took it all away. It wasn’t useful. The only thing that was useful and warranted was what I was leaving: flowers, bread, water, incense, and an apple. All delicious portions to feed his soul from here until eternity.
And then I began to discourse. I began to talk. I told him about the things here. I told him about the thing there. I told him about mom and my little brother and I told him about me. I told him about how things were hard and difficult and how things weren’t going right. And then, my track shifted. Sometimes, it can do that when you’re on a tangent about something – it all just changes. It’s like you go in with a certain intention in mind, but reality steps in and blocks the synapses that you had mapped out in the beginning. And then, I got angry again. I got so angry, I had fists and I had tears and I couldn’t shout like I wanted to because there were people only a few graves away. Oh, I was so mad and I was so angry and my inner rant just took off.
And this is stupid because you should be here. You should be here. I shouldn’t be sitting on a fucking grave and having to talk to you in my head and feed you from offerings and hope that you get this. This is stupid, so fucking ridiculous stupid. And I hate this. Why did you have to be such a selfish fucking ass and die? Why couldn’t you keep your dick in your pants long enough to not contract a deadly fucking disease that no one knew two fucking shits about and why did you do this to us? Didn’t we figure into anything? Didn’t you care? Didn’t you love me and [name redacted] or any of us? Why didn’t we get even a slight thought before you fucked yourself and us ten ways to Sunday? And it’s because of you that I have no self-esteem because you went and fucking died on me without even a fucking thought because I didn’t merit even a second thought, a second glance at what you were doing because you were a hedonistic, narcissistic asshole and that hurts more than anything else.
You didn’t love us enough to keep it in your pants and not die.
There’s the rub.
I’ve thought of this before, either at his grave or in other times. It doesn’t matter, but whenever I used to think in this way, I would cut it off because the pain was oh, so much. Sometimes, people talk about how you have so much pain inside of you that you don’t know how to deal with it so they blank it out. It was like that. There would be tears, but they were a drop in the bucket to letting it out. It was grief, really.
I’ve never grieved – how can you when you’re seven and you don’t quite fully understand all that was going on? You knew that your dad was sick with a disease that people mistook and misunderstood and were scared of at five or six and then, he was dead after hearing your mom tell him it was okay to die and then screaming and crying, I take it back; you can’t go yet, until sleep overtook you. And then, the next day, your whole life was irrevocably changed when you came out of your room and saw your mom’s best friend sleeping on the floor in the living room and your mom was nowhere to be found and neither was your dad. How do you grieve then?
So, I grieve now. I cry and I cry and I cry in my heart for a man who, I feel, didn’t love me or my little brother or my mom enough to not sleep with a person infected with the disease and contracted it and died. He died because he was a selfish dickwheel and I have to deal with that every day of my life.
I’m reminded right now of a certain set of lyrics that have been in my head since I heard the song on the recap of Supernatural this morning. I’m hoping that one day, I can sing them, and know what it’s supposed to feel like.
Carry on my wayward son
There’ll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don’t you cry no more
Carry On Wayward Son by Kansas