Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Two Laughs

My Grandfather left yesterday. Papa Bear, Hoop, and Big Bit have been sick for two days. The house process is going painfully slow. Work is swamped. On top of all my other duties, I've been given the exciting task of interviewing candidates for a position similar to mine. That wasn't sarcasm. I really am excited, once I get past the nervousness. It's been chaotic.

Life keeps coming in slivers, slices just big enough to tease me with. The only break I get is during the commute to work, which provides ample time to think. Thank God for that at least! There's a story that's been rolling around in my head for years. I think about it now while driving. It's still bare, at best. It doesn't have a middle or an end. The fragments hardly form a spine. But today it's all I have to offer...

A few thoughts and pretty words. Enjoy.


My father had two laughs.

One was genuine. The other was genuinely cruel. Although the first laugh rarely made an appearance, I lived for it. It fed me, a comfort from the starvation caused by the second. I gauged my life and my actions by which laugh I received, a seed of paranoia that took over twenty years to dig out. As an adult, people have spoken more freely about my Father. They say he was happy once. They say it was the drugs, the alcohol, or the jail time that rotted his heart. I think he was just able to hide it better.

People take pride in how well they know the people they love. As hard as it is to believe, it's really no different when dealing with people you hate or hate-to-love too. The distinction is in what kind of pride you get from it. Knowing someone you hate better than anyone else is not something you care to share. My father was not a good man. He wasn't kind, or sane, or healthy. But I knew him, through and through. People tried to predict him. They gave reason to his actions. They guessed, and I knew. Sadly, I was proud of that.



At 24 January, 2007, Blogger mamalujo1 said...

Now THERE is somethign to think about. And write about.

At 24 January, 2007, Blogger spellconjurer said...

Oh Tink. You have just reached inside the hearts of more people than you imagined. Reached inside and touched them. Maybe it wasn't your intent, but you did, I just know it. How is it, that through all that is your life just now, all that could be stressful and worrisome,,,,how do you find this inside of you? How incredible are you? I feel as if I just was leaning forward listening to you, and now I want to sit back, and just wonder over what you've just told me. In awe. Just because I think you're great, and just because my best fantasy I could come up with would be a date with Rosie O'Donnell AND Ellen Degeneres on a deserted island, doesn't mean I'm gay does it? NOT that there's anything wrong with that. Snoooooooort. Well unless you asked my husband. Sometimes I worry myself.

At 24 January, 2007, Blogger Chris said...

I'm glad that you at least have your drive to work sanity time!!

Your father sounds a bit like my mother was. I know exactly what you mean.

At 24 January, 2007, Blogger spellconjurer said...

mamalujo you TROLL! I was supposed to be first. No wonder you're not on the island with me and Ellen and Rosie!!!!!!

At 24 January, 2007, Blogger meno said...

Children do what they need to in order to feel important, even if it is to understand an insane, cuel and unhealthy parent.

Nice thoughts.

At 24 January, 2007, Blogger eric said...

i know this sentiment intimately. i've been told all my life by my father and other family members that they'd hate to be the one who had to know so intimately everything that is my mother.

for a lot of the same reasons.

that will make a running thread of a book, if you so choose.


At 24 January, 2007, Blogger Chelle Y. said...

You made my heart sad thinking about your father not being a kind person. It's so hard to me to comprehend because I was blessed with a wonderful daddy.

I am sure someday, if you do marry Hoop, he'll be the kind of father to your children that you wanted with your dad.

At 24 January, 2007, Anonymous mamatulip said...

We know our parents in different ways. I have friends who know their mothers intimately, on a level I never knew my mother, and I knew my mother pretty well, I think. And I have friends who don't know their parents at all, who cling to the little pieces of them that they do know: dad likes his Coors Light poverty packs, mom likes to crochet. Those may be small, mundane things, but they're things that they know about their parents.

In a way I think you have a right to be proud of knowing your father, of knowing his good laugh and his bad qualities, because it shows the kind of person you are. Astute, keen, thoughtful. Intuitive.

A good soul.

At 24 January, 2007, Blogger Mike Y said...

That's a very touching post. I think of my time with my dad and I really enjoy them and miss being able to see him regularly. But it's a long way away from where we were a few years back. My dad was very cynical and sarcastic and not a lot of fun to grow up with. We went several years without even talking to each other once. But that has changed significantly in the past few years. He's now one of my closest friends.

Thanks for sharing this with us.

At 24 January, 2007, Blogger Betty said...

There were many times in my life when I wondered why other people couldn't see my mother the way I saw her. But, to me, she completely changed when she was in public. I always felt that I knew things about her that no one else could possibly know, because she didn't want them to. Does that make sense? Maybe not. But, I think you know what I mean.

At 24 January, 2007, Anonymous Ch3ll3 said...

This was a very interesting post and has obviously given us all something to think about.

Personally, I thought of a conversation I had once with some older cousins of mine about my grandmother on my mom's side of the family. We were sitting at the kitchen table and having coffees when the talk turned to family memories. We laughed at how different our perceptions were of the same event. For instance, I shared with them that the Xmas I was 4 years old, I got underwear as a gift from Santa and was mortally embarrassed to open it up in front of my cousins. They can only recall trying to find ways of getting drunk without anyone at the gift opening noticing. Anyway... we got chatting about grandma and I brought up that she used to make me tea and cinnamon toast fingers with the crusts cut off and we'd sit and talk about the neighbours. I was 5. My cousin then says, "Are we talking about grandma J?" I said, "Yes, why?" He says, "That old battle axe used to make you tea?!! She used to pick ME up off the floor by me ears right before she'd back hand me!"

See? We each knew grandma. Just differently.

I don't know what my point was. Sorry.

At 25 January, 2007, Anonymous Turtle said...

*big hug* Thought you could use it.

At 26 January, 2007, Blogger mrspao said...



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