Despite his violence and selfishness, I loved my dad. I always have. However, that love required dexterous skills. My love for him was filled with posturing, distance, the ability to entertain, and to make certain that I never put any unnecessary strain on him. My dad was a child and as long as you remembered that his feelings came first and your feelings didn’t come at all –– all was well. He was an amateur alcoholic throughout out his adolescence and then moved into professional ranking in his early twenties.
He maintained that professional status throughout his life with an occasional sober accent. He was a broken man. He longed to be a song and dance man. As far as the ruling class was concerned and in particular my father’s father, you were a social pariah if you were part of the theatrical community. Socially unacceptable. Dad chose the money and all that went with it, despite dubious acceptance of a cold dismissive father.
Truly, the closest he came to his dreams were his affairs with chorus girls in fishnet stockings. He ultimately stayed true to the drink in a way that he stayed loyal to nothing else, until the day he died.
Here’s to all Father’s finding a better way.