Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The night it all happened!

The night it all happened.
            Working at the Lab is fun but not what it looks like.  That’s what I explain in my last blog entry.  My mom reads it and instantly calls me.  She wants me to stop talking about pot in my entries because then people will think I do drugs.  I tell her, “If you call pot a drug then yes I do.  If you live in San Francisco, it’s considered fresh air.”            
            After the lovely pot argument with my mother, dad calls me.  He is clearly smoking a cigarette and starts choking on his own cough before I get the chance to say hello.  This makes me want to roll a joint but I don’t because I’m out.  Dad asks me when I’m coming to visit.  He hasn’t had a job in several years at this point.  I have no idea how he gets by.  I ask him why he can’t drive up to visit me.  He tells me it’s too far for him to drive.  I offer to pay for Amtrak and he then says he’ll get sick on there.  I get annoyed and he changes the topic and asks me if I have seen the latest Pay-Per-View fight.  I say know and even though it’s on the phone I can hear him shaking his head.
            Something that has always bothered me is that I have lived in San Francisco for around six years.  My father has never tried to come and visit me.  On occasion I have made pilgrimages to visit him by driving the six hours to Northridge and hanging out with him.  This act consists of watching a twenty-year old Tyson/Forman fight on a loop for at least an hour, stuffing our faces with enough Chinese food /MSG to bloat and awkwardness.  There are a lot of weird silences that we cover up with the sound of the television.  After the fights, we switch an old Columbo rerun for my grandmother.  She lives with dad then comes by with bowl of grapes to make sure we are fully nourished.  She makes light conversation about her daily struggles, current ailments and then my dad goes to the bathroom to suck down 1-3 cigarettes.  
            My dad makes it very clear to me that he loves me but not that he’s dependable.  I remember as a kid my father was supposed to visit San Diego, and take me to the zoo while introducing me to his girlfriend at the time.  He never came.  This was the third or fourth time this happened.  That night I found out that it was because of the Northridge earthquake.  He lived around the corner from the apartment building that fell over. 
            From fifteen year-old and on I always worked.  I would take time off of work to meet up with my dad in San Clemente, our agreed upon halfway point between his home in Northridge and mine in San Diego.  Two out of five times he would have to cancel the day of which would anger me.  After a while I stopped making those plans with him.
            I tell Dr. John about how it upsets me that dad hasn’t ever made an effort to visit me.  Dr. John asks me to measure my stress-level.  Right now I am at an 8.  This is on a scale from 1-10.  I don’t really have a reason for this.  I just know it’s there.   He then tells me to just focus on myself for a while.  Write out my feelings maybe on the blog and keep my dad at bay for a little bit while I compose myself.  I hear what he says but of course don’t listen.  That night, while working on a new blog story I purchase tickets from my dad to fly up to see me.  I call to tell him about this and he is super excited.  The tickets are for the following weekend.  It’s a Friday-Monday sort of thing.  That Thursday my dad calls to tell me that he isn’t feeling very good and can’t come.  It’s like being 14 all over again.

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