April 28, 2009

letter #27

dear dad,

the only reason I'm wasting a perfectly good letter on you is because it's late in the month and i've run out of people to write to, and of things to say. I'm writing to you now because you don't care about and don't deserve to hear the details of my everyday life. isn't that backwards? it doesn't matter to you that I need a haircut, or that it's cold and raining here in Portland, or that I bought a new opening night dress. those are things that matter to Mom, though, just for the record. you don't care about the hard weekend I had, or that I'm taking Cookie to a horse show soon, or that I'll have to miss the first softball game of the season. you don't know the last person I fell in love with, or how long I've lived in my apartment, or where I plan to go from here.

the thing is, none of that bothers me. it bothered me my whole life until I had the opportunity to meet you; or, more specifically, until you had the opportunity to meet me, to undo all the wrongs you committed over twenty five years, to make something right. and instead you told my sister that I should email you, and handed over your email address. do you know how that disgusts me? did you really think I would? shouldn't you have leapt at the opportunity? grandmom and granddad sure did.

here is the thing about all of it. I pity you now, because you will never know what you've missed by not knowing me; you'll never know how I turned out smart and happy and successful, how I make friends, how independent I am, how brave. you'll never know how terrifying and wonderful it was to move across the country, or buy a horse, or work at the opera. you have nothing to do with any of it, by choice. so you get nothing. what a pity for you, to be left with nothing. meanwhile steve was teaching me to catch softballs in the front yard; he was taking me to horse farms, and buying me my first grown-up bike, and telling me not to drink too much at the beach, at a time when I shouldn't have been drinking at all. so you are an idiot, because of what you could have had, but lost. and I pity you. I pity that in nearly twenty eight years I have inherited so little from you: just snippets of your family (your parents, two of your children, your siblings), and the color of your eyes. I pity you that loss, but you deserve less.

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