I just finished reading Neil Gaiman’s Graveyard book, which has me thinking about family. Unfortunately, for me, this is not a very good area. Even before my mother died, our family was not much more than a taunt string vibrating noisily when we got together and constantly threatening to snap. Now that one of the damaged moorings is gone, the remains are fracturing apart because to little of the glue of love was used. As for me, the only solution I had to the jangling noise of our family was to keep everyone at a distance. It hurt a lot less than actually caring but now I am learning the costs, loneliness, regret, and an inability to connect with people.
I know this will sound like bellyaching, but it does show how I got here and the kind of walls I had to build to survive. Recently, I watched the movie “Moneyball” staring Brad Pitt. There is a seen where his character, a divorced father, is taking his turn with his daughter and is looking at guitars to get her. They decide to try one out and she plays a tune while she hums along. Apparently it is a song that she wrote and she is embarrassed to sing it aloud. The father convinces her to sing with the tune and when she is done, he is dumbstruck with what she has done. The point to all this is, as my older sister will attest, that such a reaction has always been beyond both my parents. My mother alternately praised and dissected everything we did. My father was more like the mother in Despicable Me. What hurt the most was how he could praise other people’s accomplishments yet be lukewarm to anything his kids did, even to this day. If any of you have been to my deviantart page, you have seen that I am at least a decent artist; however, not once have I seen the reaction Brad Pitt gave in “Moneyball” from my father. On the other hand, when he talks about Bob Ross, it is with tones of awe.
While there are numerous other issues in our family, this is one that really hurts. It has caused a lot of bitterness. I guess I just needed to get it off my chest to somebody since my family is in such a fractured state and do not interact well. Call it the rantings of a lonely old king sitting in his brokedown palace (nod to Stephen Brust).