Monday, September 08, 2008

Middle finger, po

So my father's going to be out of a job again come October; the chairman of his company was apparently looking for a cheaper guy, & found 1.

My father & I haven't really talked in months, outside of his request to borrow money & the standard stuff: Did you eat yet? ... Hi.

When he told me about his losing his job, I consented w/ more of mere obligatory: Why? And after his explaining I even offered to ask around for openings. And that was that.

The silence officially began 1 night a couple of months ago when I discovered, for certain, that he was a fraud like everyone else. I had a hunch for years, but when you look up to someone, you hold on to the belief that that person is merely complex. Now I know there's nothing complicated about him; like I said, he's like the rest of them.

My father has begun to lash out at people. The other week it was a helpless guard in Makati. A few months ago it was me; I believe the words used were Fuck you! ... ah yes, I believe 5 times, w/ emphasis on the exclamation point, spit catapulting as the shape of his mouth pointed: YOU!

Some call it midlife crisis, & excuse the rage because of difficulties. I can't say I agree; shit happens, deal w/ it -- especially when you spent 50 years positioning yourself as the good, rational, level-headed, & humble 1, a perch from which you've conveniently criticized others for not having similar qualities.

I still believe he has a good heart. He's my father. I'll leave others to see if there's a connection between my last 2 statements. But my cousin Pope put it quite well: He's rootless. And I'd have to agree. What else can you call a man who realigns many of his values to best put himself in a better place given the situation life throws his way?

My father has lived a colorful life, done a lot of things, saved the life of the person writing this. But maybe the problem is that he never really stood for anything for himself, loved anything for himself, found glimmers of transcendence we proclaim to aspire for in settings apt for such proclamations, like Sunday mass .

But whatever -- I've begun to keep my distance, & have begun to learn how this could be best for me right now. 

And so when I'm caught in between a spat between my father & a helpless guard merely doing his job, I close my eyes not out of embarrassment but rather in prayer -- asking God to guide me not to be the kind of man the man next to me has become. Or has been all along.


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