Why I'm Lost...For the Moment (Part Two)
I'm not crazy. Even though it might come off like that sometimes. When push comes to shove, I'll show my true colors, and sometimes those colors people don't quite believe. They probably wonder how someone my age can act the way he does. It all must be a facade, a fake, it all must be a front.
I left my story off saying that there are better things on the horizon. Even when life brings you to your knees, and it seems like the world is one black, empty void...even then there's something to look forward to. Not that my life ever was a void, but when my mind took over, I usually let it get the best of me. I thought I matured over that year. I thought I was done growing up. And how did I get proven wrong? By one, subtle, inevitable, chance of fate.
I met someone.
But in order for everything else to make sense, it's necessary for me to backtrack. The relationships I have now with people are ones that I try my best to maintain. It seems as though I get along with most people. But when it comes to the two people I love the most...
Well, let's just say something is missing.
My father and I...our relationship is hot and cold. It's always been that way. As far back as I could remember. We have three good days, two bad. One day we are joking and enjoying each other's company and actually being a father and son.. And then the next day he could be in my face, screaming, yelling all the things that I don't quite do right. Don't get me wrong, he is the best father any son could ask for. He's taught me right from wrong, the way to take responsibility, the way to be a man. But there's something in our relationship that saddens me. It's the way that we never have consistency. Our relationship is somewhat...bipolar.
It'd be nice to know that I'm actually good for something. When I'm eighty years old, and someone asks me if my life was worth living, I want to say yes. And when they ask me if I have any regrets, I want to look them full in the face,
And say no.
It's hard to look at my father and know that he is constantly wishing that I were a different way. I don't want to be a project anymore. I don't want to be a disappointment. And as much as he says he is proud of me, there's the look in his eyes that tells me I could be something else. Maybe a better son.
I remember one of our worst fights. I had ended up hiding something from him. Something so small, so unimportant. But my father is the kind who sees it in either black and white. There is no middle ground. When you hide something, you're a backstabber, you're a traitor. And when he found out..
I remember the day. Three years ago, in March. My mom had left with my brother to go do some shopping. I'm guessing my dad told her to leave.
He was screaming at me, in my face, telling me a bunch of sh** I couldn't understand because my heart was stampeding like a damn horse. I looked at him and didn't quite know what to say. And then he threw his fist into my chest and I flew backwards into the wall.
It didn't hurt that much. At least not at the moment. It did later, when I found out my ribs had been sprained. But I got back up, with tears running down my face. I wanted to say something to stop him, I didn't want this to keep going. And then he ended up grabbing one of the butcher knives we had off the counter. With one swift movement he put it in my hand, pointed the blade towards his chest and started to pull me forward. I remember his words..they cut through me worse than the knife would have if it had been pointed at me,
If you're going to stab me in the back, you might as well f***ing do it in person. And do it where I can see.
I was shaking. I was terrified. He was making me stab him. I tried pulling away but he was too strong. I told him to stop, I begged him to stop.
Things cooled down after that. My chest started hurting after that, but I ignored it. And I remember, on that day in March, three years ago, three promises I'd made to him. Three promises he'd asked me to keep. Sitting in front of me, all his anger had dissipated. For the moment. And as I looked him in the eyes, I felt something I'd really never felt before.
I felt regret. Nothing in my life had ever made me feel like I had at that moment. At sixteen, I'd made no regretful, important decisions. So as my father sat me down and made me promise him these things, my insides burned with guilt. As he made me promise to stop lying, as he made me promise him to take care of my mother and brother when he died, as he made me promise him that I wouldn't fall apart when him and mom left this earth...that I would be alright without them.
Where was all this coming from?
I was too young to understand. And maybe too naive. But I realize now what must have been going through his mind at the moment. As for me now, my relationship with him is still fragmented. And now, going on twenty, I fear for different things than I did when I was sixteen. I don't want to be that man...I don't want to be that man at my father's funeral, sinking down to my knees next to his coffin and having my heart ripped to pieces because I was too stupid to try with him. I don't want to be the man talking to my father's grave, wishing I had one more second with him. I don't want to have to say I love him to the cemetery air. I don't want that.
But no matter what I do, the cycle repeats. And I fear for both my parents. I barely talk to my mother, since she works so much. And with her it's different. I already know when she leaves me, my world will be crushed, shattered. I wish I could see her more often. I wish my father could look at me with pride in his eyes, with time on his hands for me...not my flaws. I wish I could enjoy my parents. While I still have them.
I hold nothing against either of them. My father has already apologized for treating me so badly when I was little. He used to hit me often. Sometimes I didn't even know why I was getting hit. I remember one time how he held a pillow over my head while he hit me over and over with a belt. He'd told me how lost he'd been, losing his mother at that time. And then losing his father months later. Perhaps I had just been getting the worst of the storm. But I don't blame him. I never would. It wasn't really abuse, just a little harsh punishment. I'll never whine about it, but I'll never really say it was okay. I just...turn it to a positive.
He did slack off on hitting me though, when I ended up going to the doctor. I had some kind of heart condition. And when I was on the table, doing the ultrasound, I remember looking up at him near the doorway. I could see fear in his eyes. Fear that maybe something was wrong with me, that something had come up. Something that could eventually take me away from him. And it's times like those when things are really thrown into perspective.
But everything happens for a reason. I believe that with every fiber in me. And I hope, truly hope, that in the future things will fall into place. Watching my father grow older, with our relationship the way it is...watching my mother work so hard without seeing her first born son, I'm not built of stone. I'm not going to say that a man should never cry, never feel pain. I scream the truth when I say this hurts. It hurts me to know that one day they will be ripped from my life, without warning. It hurts me to know that I can be an arm's length away from them now...and feel as if I'm a hundred miles across the world. I still wonder what the solution is, and I'm sure I will find it. I just pray it won't be too late. Hopefully when I do look in the mirror, and realize what I need to change, their hearts will still be beating, their eyes still open.
Because I don't want to say goodbye just yet.
But even when I feel like this, even when I feel lost and confused, there's still something that keeps me sane. More sane than I've ever been. It's the part I've been waiting this entire time to reveal. It's the part that spins me into a realm between dream and reality. It's something I've never, ever experienced.