Sunday, January 31, 2010

getting real with dad

Sitting over greasy eggs and hash-browns at the hi-way diner (pro tip: the meal comes with two eggs but you get a third free if you ask). Dad in our post-tension-overload "effort toward being real lunch" described his racing unwanted thoughts, and how he'll be laying in bed and think of embarrassing things he did in college and get that physical recoil of -- it's not just shame and guilt alone, it's like being punched in the solar plexus with shame and self-loathing (In describing it he did the exact same body motion I do when it happens, the sudden jerk, tense with eyes squinted shut and turned away). And then the thought happens again, and again, and you wake up in the morning and it might not be that thought but another one, a stranger yelled something rude at you on the street last week, you behaved stupidly in front of friends. When things that cause the thoughts happen, you feel like you're in shock, and need to repeat the "story" of the "incident" in your head, rehearse it obsessively until it makes some kind of sense, until it's a complete narrative, then tell the story to a friend, tell it to every friend you encounter until the pain lessens. I knew what he was talking about, I know.
It was good to ease a few of the layers of facade from the parent-child game. There's a lot more to say on the topic, but for right now it feels real good to me to know that there is another person in the world who will go home, obsess kind of delusionally about the amount of calories they are eating, consume nicotine, take profound comfort in animal company, sequester themselves for necessary peace from the noise of everything and the smells of everyone but still need and rely on people they love, and be anxious as hell under a mask of savviness.


JESS!CA said...

aw shoots, this makes me wanna get lunch with dad

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