Friday, September 14, 2007

Thirst

I waited my whole life for him.

But expecting good things out of my Father was like waiting for rain in the desert.

It wasn't until I turned twenty-two that I realized I was going to die of thirst. So I turned my back on him, the man who forever promised water. I shamed him so thoroughly that he wiped himself from the map, destroyed every road that might lead him back. With him gone, I drank up everything around me. I nearly drowned in the pursuit of something more. I eventually found it, that fullness I craved. But it didn't stop me from thinking about him, wondering...

Was he the one waiting now?

Monday: The story of what happened on the last night I saw my Dad. Until then, some happy memories of him.

UPDATE: Post can be found
here.

No More Meat: I was barely three when my Dad started working at the steel mill. He was proud of that job. It was the first decent one he'd had since going to jail. He talked about that place long after he got fired. About the man who lost his face in some freak accident, and the numerous fingers that went missing in the machinery. The thing I'll always associate with that place though is a McDonald's pancake breakfast. It had to do with one of my Dad's favorite stories.

He was taking me to the steel mill one morning so he could pick up his check. It was out in the country somewhere, so he stopped for breakfast on the way. We were halfway to the mill when he looked over at my syrupy face and saw that I'd eaten all my sausage. "No more meat, Daddy." I said sadly. "You ate it all, sweetie." He replied. I threw my hands up in the air as if to say "I don't know where it went" and started to cry. He told me he'd get me more once we were back in town. It wasn't like me to cry. "No more meat?" I sniffled. "No, baby."

He said I didn't make another peep, I just sat there looking at my empty plate. So my Dad did the only thing he could think to do. He pulled the truck around and drove all the way back into town. He always liked to end the story with, "So I got you a stack of sausage this big!" His hands would be about a foot apart, although the size grew with each telling. "Did I eat it all?" I would ask. "I can't remember," he would say. Because it didn't matter. I had won his heart that day.

Little Foreman: Growing up, my Dad owned a fence company. I used to love to watch him work. First he would measure the yard. Then he would set the string. He or one of his workers would come in and dig holes. Another person would set the posts and cement them in. My job was always to make sure they were level at the end. In the meantime, I would sit on the piles of wood or metal and color. Every once in awhile my Dad would go off to get lunch and leave me in charge.

I'm sure it was a sight, a kid no older than eight giving orders to full grown men. The guys loved it. They were like family. "Faster!" I would shout as they moved supplies. "Make sure that's straight!" "Yes foreman," they would reply. Then my Dad would come back and ask me in the most serious tone, "Were the men well behaved?" With a straight face I would tell him that they were (or weren't depending on my mood). It was the best job I've ever had.

UPDATE:
Twisted (Tink) has been updated with its final revised chapter, "Strange Coincidences." From here on out, everything will be new! About damn time, huh? For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, "Twisted" is a side project/story I've been working on for over a year now. You should go check it out. Let me know what you think. Comments, critiques, and kudos are always welcome. Tomato throwing is not.

P.S. Don't forget, the WWC words for this weekend are CHANGE and COLOR.

Have a fantastic weekend!

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25 Comments:

At 14 September, 2007, Blogger Mamalujo said...

You don't know how much I've wanted to hear about your father. I've refrained from asking because I know it has to come from you. Your story about your Dad and the fence company reminds me of a post you wrote some time ago about your Dad helping you with that fence at your first house, didn't you put your hand in the cement? And it was the last time you saw him too.

Full disclosure: this would-be writer knows there is an amazing story here.

I can't wait.

 
At 14 September, 2007, Blogger Tink said...

Mamalujo: I know. It's a long time coming. I was thinking about him today and then I remembered that you'd shown an interest in what happened. So a big part of this is for you T, and for the fact that it needs to be said and buried.

 
At 14 September, 2007, Anonymous mamatulip said...

I'm looking forward to reading more about your dad...and you know, I'm proud of you for writing about him.

 
At 14 September, 2007, Blogger Jen said...

It always hurts my heart when my friends don't seem to have the parents I was lucky enough to have. I used to believed all parents were the same. Like mine. As I grow older, I am finding there are too many out there who are not. Now, I realize how lucky I am.

I'm sorry, Tink.

 
At 14 September, 2007, Blogger Jay said...

I may or may not be looking forward to hearing the story about your dad. I mean, I am interested because you have talked about him a few times, but I have a feeling it's going to be a downer too.

I think it has most to do with the fact that my dad was a crappy dad. Anyway, I'll read it, of course.

 
At 14 September, 2007, Anonymous TB said...

I want to know the story of your father only because I know how good it feel to exorcise the demons by writing it all out. I've never wondered if my dad was waiting because he never was and never will be. So much better that he's not in my life and I'm sure that is true in your case as well.

Can't wait for the new Twisted Tink!!!!!

 
At 15 September, 2007, Blogger mrspao said...

Those are lovely memories. I am trying to think of some happy memories of my father, too.

 
At 15 September, 2007, Blogger furiousBall said...

I didn't think of my own father when reading this (our relationship is mostly fine), I thought of my kids. Owwww.

 
At 15 September, 2007, Blogger R2K said...

: )

 
At 16 September, 2007, Blogger Christy said...

Without whatever happened in your past you would not be who you are right now. And I'm hoping you are happy with who you have become and who you will continue to become.

 
At 16 September, 2007, Blogger fiwa said...

Tink, this post gives me chills, because Monday's doesn't sound like a happy story. Good for you for purging. My theory is if we do it enough times, eventually it stops hurting.

Love ya,
fiwa

 
At 16 September, 2007, Blogger Lynn@ZelleBlog said...

It might always hurt, but maybe somehow we come to make more decisions about it-deciding what we will keep. What we will let go.

 
At 17 September, 2007, Blogger Beth said...

I always love reading happy memories. I am glad you have those to think of when you want them.

What is WWC?

 
At 17 September, 2007, Blogger Kell said...

That is some of the best imagery you've written. It beautifully captures a hurtful memory. Jay and I didn't have the best relationship with our dad, but I don't think we have the strength or the guts to really write about it. It's wonderful that you can. You're right of course. Writing about it will give you some closure.

 
At 17 September, 2007, Blogger Edge said...

That's a nice story. Lots of imagery. It's touching now that I have a child. I can see things woven into the fabric of your relationship and mine with my daughter.

~Jef

 
At 17 September, 2007, Blogger Newt said...

That was a beautiful post. Both of them.

Hugs

 
At 17 September, 2007, Blogger Gracey said...

I don't even know what to say. I've been away for so long and I came back to very sad story of your father in "Purging". I don't think you are the kind of person that wants sympathy from people, but I'd like to say that I'm sorry for the hurt you had to go through and in a way still go through. I in a way feel sorry for your dad because he missed out on some amazing times that could have been happy and wonderful but ultimately his selfishness hindered him from stepping in the right direction.

You are a strong person!

 
At 18 September, 2007, Blogger meno said...

i read the story, even though it doesn't appear to be here anymore.

Love is so complicated. Except when we are children, then we just love.

<3

 
At 18 September, 2007, Blogger CRUSTYBEEF said...

THis post and the one that was titled purge..WOW!! You have officially won the linking of CHoice bloggers in my crustybeef world.
How you dealt with that-no wonder you're so strong today!! I wonder perhaps if someday if you have children, then maybe you'll seek out him..for closure..(although, remember, closure comes from within..and it does seem like you have found it!!)
Beautiful post!!
Always,
Crusty~

 
At 18 September, 2007, Anonymous susan said...

I have always been in awe of you. People my age are rarely as poised and together as you are. Now, I can see why. You had no choice but to grow up quickly. That's really too much for a young child to bear, but you did, and you did it well. Be proud of yourself.

 
At 18 September, 2007, Blogger austere said...

Crusty sent me. Shocked reading the purge one. Envy your strength, but you've earned every bit.
thanks for sharing.

 
At 18 September, 2007, Blogger Arabella said...

What Susan said.

I'm speechless. I'm so sorry for what you went through. I understand, in theory, how one could reconcile feelings of love with what went on, and then decide to cut someone off, and then be at peace about it, but I am amazed at how well you have actually executed it. You are incredibly self-aware. You should be very proud of the woman you've become.

 
At 18 September, 2007, Blogger Chris said...

This and "Purge" are so very powerful... In some ways it reminds me of my mom - she didn't have a drug or alcohol problem, but she had other problems that she wouldn't take responsibility for... and there comes a time when you really know that you can't have such a toxic person in your life anymore.

 
At 18 September, 2007, Blogger Portia said...

hi again:) didn't see anyplace to comment on twisted so i'm commenting here. i read the 1st chapter, introduction, and i'm hooked. will definitely be back later... when time allows.

 
At 20 September, 2007, Blogger Starchy said...

Oh my, I can totally relate.

It's amazing how much you've overcome.

And you are an awesome writer!

 

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