I often look at my father and wonder if there's any hope we'll ever be close. He's not a horrible guy and he's done an awful lot for me but there just doesn't seem to be enough common ground to foster a relationship. When I was younger he was my monster. If my life story were made into a novel he would have been the antagonist of my childhood. He didn't molest me or beat me or anything like that. But he taught me how to hate and how to feel shame. His words did a lot of damage and I still don't think he understands that.
It's become an issue for us now because of his cancer. He's only got about 10 years left and I think we've both just been putting it off up until now. Suddenly, there's a panic to it; a need.
We talked the other day and for a moment I saw him. Underneath everything that made him my polar opposite I could see the scared fucked up little man that we both are. But just as I tried to reach out and connect with it he pulled away. And all at once we were different from each other again. It was as if we were alone; in the same room but a part of two separate universes.
"I love you dad." I wonder if those words will ever mean anything to me.