I’m listening to Bob Dylan right now. He always makes me think of you. Of our adventures. Did you know I have a giant framed poster of him above my bed now? I wish I had appreciated his music when you were alive. I couldn’t understand how much of a poet he was when I was nine years old and we went to that concert. I tell people my first concert was Dylan and they’re a bit shocked.
But that was you, Dad. Always enriching my life, Mom’s life, with the most amazing gems of music, culture, love. We’d drive around in your little Green Volkswagen and listen to a cassette of Dylan, and two or three songs in I’d say, “Okay, but can we listen to the radio now?” And you would! You’d change it to Mariah Carey’s “Touch My Body” and sing along because you were that rad.
You were a rad dad, Dad. I hope you knew that. I know I’m a little biased, but when I tell people stories of us and our relationship, I can see it in their eyes. Just how beautiful and unbelievable our love really was. I miss you so much. I miss you every fucking day. And lately, it’s stinging even more.
I’m not happy with who I am right now. I am slipping into something so dark. I don’t mean this as a cry for help. Because it’s not. It’s just evident. It’s a fact. I have pushed away two of my best friends. I’m sleeping all day. I’m writing all night. I’m thinking about the stupid comedian you never met. You would have liked him though. But look, there I go again. Talking a bunch of bullshit and avoiding the serious issues.
I’m afraid I’m a giant black hole and sucking the people I love into it. You should see me. The way I sulk around inside like I’m carrying the weight of every problem and really? I think I’m just being selfish. I’m arrogant enough to feel like my sadness is the only sadness. And that nobody can understand or relate, so I retreat into a den. I’m howling at the moon like this pathetic lone wolf, and I know what you’d say. You’d want me to get back out there. We’d talk about psychology and you’d tell me about the latest research in the field. And I’d cry and laugh and hug you.
What if I could just hug you?
What if that was the cure, Dad? What if hugging you made it all okay?
What if I’m the worst because I can’t hug you? I shy away from men touching me. I do not like to be cuddled or held. And I think I’m just afraid. I’m afraid of pure affection. Romantic. Platonic. Anything. I’m so scared of it. Because what if I need it and then it goes away?
You didn’t choose it. But you went away.
And I still need you. It’s been six years and I still fucking need you.