103

I’d like my dad to be alive. If he were alive, he’d be 103, I think. I imagine him in Florida, 103, skin like rock, but brown from the sun. I imagine him shriveled, but full of joie de vivre, dressed in pink golf pants with creases, and two-tone golf shoes. I imagine him one of those Republicans who voted for Obama, even though Obama was black, and a democrat—not only because McCain was a retarded monkey and Palin a yahoo, but because his granddaughter needed a better planet. That’s how much he’d love her: against his better judgement, he’d give her a better planet.

If my grandmother had a dick, she’d be my grandfather. Like that.

Who knows where I’d be had my father not got cancer when I was seven and died two years later. Would I be in some kitchen on the upper east side where he’d stand in shorts, even though it was winter, like Bronnie’s dad did (his foot in a plastic boot, after surgery), holding his massive hands out at his sides and saying to me, “Everything’s going to be fine. Just let it go,” when he knew I was upset? Would he take care of it for me, like Bronnie’s dad? Like kissing a boo-boo, and pretending it would now all go away, just because he was there?

Trungpa Rinpoche said that women are crazy and men are stupid, and I think that captures something. It’s not that men are stupid, really; it’s more like they’ve been raised to be protectors (and porters), and that requires a certain padding. Dads will be your padding, if you need them to be, I imagine. If they’re still there when you need them. This is my fantasy. Some women count on their husbands this way, and that sounds good to me too. I’m a little tired. I’d like to take off all the padding and hang out with my dad in Florida for awhile.

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2 thoughts on “103

  1. My father was the exact opposite of padding. Your posts have been making me think of him a lot lately. That and the fact that the one year anniversary of his death is coming soon and that they are putting together a book about him. I was tired of all the lionizing so I wrote what it was like being his daughter, for real. So I’ve been thinking about all this work you are doing to remember your dad all these years later. I don’t think my skin is thick enough right now to go into my own memory banks just now. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I know your dad wasn’t padding. I think I know, in my own way, what that must have been like for you. I don’t know, honestly, if my dad was padding—I think I hope he was, or wish he was. You and I, we didn’t drown, Noa, which must mean that something kept us afloat—some kind of love, maybe, from somewhere.

    Any time you want to post about your dad on this blog, do, either in the comments, or I’ll give you a username and you can just join in. One year. Wow. Please keep me posted. Love, Deitch

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