I Never Sang For My Father

by Robert Anderson

Dad, I asked you to come with me to California. What do you want? What the hell do you want? If I lived here the rest of my life, it wouldn’t be enough for you. I’ve tried, God damn it, I’ve tried to be the dutiful son, to maintain the image of the good son…Commanded into your presence on every conceivable occasion…Easter, Christmas, Birthdays, Thanksgiving…Even that Thanksgiving when Carol was dying, and I was staying with her in the hospital. “We miss you so. Our day is nothing without you. Couldn’t you come up for an hour or two after you leave Carol?” You had no regard for what was really going on…My wife was dying! No, Dad, it’s not terrible to want to see your son. It is terrible to want to possess him…entirely and completely! UNGRATEFUL!? What do you want for gratitude? Nothing, nothing would be enough. You have resented everything you ever gave me. The orphan boy in you has resented everything. I’m sorry as hell about your miserable childhood. When I was a kid, and you told me those stories, I used to go up to my room at night and cry. But there is nothing I can do about it..and it does not excuse everything…I am grateful to you. I also admire you and respect you, and stand in awe of what you have done with your life. I will never be able to touch it. But it does not make me love you. And I wanted to love you. You hated your Father. I saw what it did to you. I did not want to hate you. I came so close to loving you tonight…I’d never felt so open to you. You don’t know what it cost me to ask you to come to California with me…when I have never been able to sit in a room alone with you…Did you really think your door was always open to me? Good bye, Dad

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