One of the Worst Feelings in the World...
...is realizing how fucked up your life is and that, for whatever reason, you lack the resources or the luck or the will or the time to correct any of it, to come to grips with the utter futility of trying to rectify what had been done to you, to fix whatever is broken.
People aren't like machines that can be tinkered with or computers that can simply be reprogrammed. Instead, we inexorably fold our psyches around traumas, revelations and other experiences and become those things like multiply kneaded bread dough, to become a product of our upbringing whether we like it or not.
Officially, my day really started at 4:30 this morning but in reality it's a mere continuation of last night and the day before that, one weary 24 hour period segmented only by a reluctant sunrise on a deceptively rosy day. I blame Father's Day yesterday, one that, for reasons that will perhaps forever be lost to posterity, was tougher on me than most.
For years, I'd made half-hearted efforts to find my parents and my oldest son, now 31, on the internet. I know exactly where my parents live, know their street address in Marietta, Georgia in Cobb County. Yesterday I finally decided to go full tilt and look for the old bastard and his psycho bitch wife. She doesn't have a Facebook page but he does. So I sent him an invitation along with another invitation to read my little essay yesterday on what Father's Day Means to Me. I really hope he likes it. I thought about him every minute I was writing it.
You see, guys, all these years you've been reading the words of a man who either doesn't exist or has no reason for existing, a man who for over half a century has been living a life predicated on a pack of lies. The lies began on one Texas day in 1957 when 17 year-old Dad married a woman four years his senior 26 days into his Air Force basic training and did so in his dress blues. I never realized that when I myself was at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio exactly 20 years later that I would every Sunday go into the same chapel where my folks got hastily married (the irony is that, being my recruiter, my own father sent me there).
Of course, even that was a lie since they told me they got married in New York, This despite my father getting married in his dress blues and there being no other relatives in the reception pictures (I never got to see the wedding pictures, probably because the other men in attendance in their own dress blues would've been difficult to explain).
During an argument between my folks in the early 70's, my mother admitted when she married my father 13 months before I was born that she was knocked up and had to get married. I told her that was impossible since I was born over a year later but it had never occurred to me she could've been pregnant with someone else. With our family's luck, it would've just like God to make this mismatched couple's only reason for getting married redundant by making my mother miscarry almost immediately.
And, after being told she couldn't conceive again it would also explain why I was so smothered (yet neglected and abused) until practically the minute I stepped off the bus at Lackland. It would explain my sister's grave and why my father beat the shit out of me in my Uncle Jimmy's basement for no apparent reason just before we laid my grandfather to rest in the same exact cemetery in Queens, why they made me babysit our dog in 1977 while they went to visit Grandpa's grave (and one other).
It would explain why the son of a bitch pulled the plug on the adoption of a little girl from an orphanage in Lecce, Italy, my last chance at having the sister I'd always wanted, one I'd wanted so badly it was almost as if I'd sensed her absence in my life.
All these things were kept from me for over half a century while the entire family, Crawfords, Coogans and Carbonas alike, were all in on the conspiracy of silence because poor bizarre and fragile Bobby couldn't handle the truth. How embarrassing is it to realize that your cousins, all of them younger than you, know the secrets surrounding your birth and upbringing and you don't?
Well, no one lives forever. The old bastard is going to be 71 this coming July 14th and the psycho bitch will be 75 on August 18th. Many is the time I'd drafted or tried to draft a letter to them demanding to know the secrets they've been keeping from me but haven't. Besides blind rage and hatred, I think the biggest reason why I've been giving them one free pass after another is the realization that it's always easier to ignore a letter than it is a long-lost son on your doorstep. Futilely appealing to brain-dead literary agents these past 14 years proved that.
I'm not saying this is the reason I haven't been blogging much this year, especially this spring. But every once in a while this eats at me like cancer or an ulcer and I can feel it killing me. I don't want to wake up one day and realize both my parents are dead and there being no one to tell me the truth (which is their sole value to me). And these hardly-resolved issues are just the latest ones that have prevented me from giving you the political content you've come to expect of me these past 6 1/2 years.
I'm not going to ask you guys for any more money because it's obvious there are many people out there who are sick and tired of me making my problems theirs and who the hell can blame them? Because of our Nation and Vanity Fair subscriptions, we've been put on the mailing lists of every Goddamned liberal organization in America from the ACLU to Save the Fucking Tse Tse Fly, all of them begging for money. I get it, I get it.
Contributions are welcome and always gratefully appreciated but I'm seriously thinking of driving down to Georgia soon and if I have to spend every last penny I have driving down to the old bastard's house in Marietta to demand answers, I will.
But until I get those answers confirmed, I will not be able to move on with my life nor have any moral authority to get more involved with my kids' lives. I'm not a spring chicken, myself, and I can't bounce back from no sleep and put in a full day like when I was a kid.
It's time to write the last act of this latter day version of Oedipus minus the incest.