When I was a kid my biological father did a brief stint in Rahway State Prison (of “Scared Straight” fame) for burglary and assault. He’s since cleaned up his act, gotten off the drugs that drove him to it, went back to school and is now a Registered Nurse. He’s still not the most responsible person, can’t keep money, a car and jobs are shaky at best. Though he’s actually much loved by his patients (as I can attest from a visit to one of the nursing homes he worked at), just not so much by his bosses. I'm incredibly proud of him. Still though, I guess there’s a part of him that feels his past like constant a shadow over him.
We were never really that close when I was growing up, and there's still an awkwardness between us. I’m much closer to my step-father, to me he's my "Dad." Because of that I think my father kind of feels like he doesn’t deserve me on some level. So whenever he calls me, he’s like a bundle of nervous energy and talking a mile a minute. He called me over the weekend to tell me he’d gotten the invitation I sent him to my wedding. The conversation went something like this.
“Ali? Hey it’s Dad!”
“Oh, hey how are you doing?”
“Good, good. Listen I don’t want to keep you but I was just calling to say I got the invitation. I was just so… so tickled to see it! I really want to come out there.”
“Well, good. I really hope you can make it. It’d be great to have you there.”
“Well, you know I’m between jobs right now. But I’m starting a new one next month so… well I don’t how the money’s gonna be but… I’ll find a way.”
“I hope so. That’d be nice.”
“Yeah, I was over at your Aunt’s and we were just tickled by your invite… She can’t come, you know.”
“Yeah, I know. I talked to her last week and she told me.”
“Oh she did? Yeah, cause they are going to be in Brazil. Oh hey do you sing?”
“Well we were listening to that song on your web site and we were thinking that was you singing and Michael playing.”
“Oh no, that wasn't me. That was my old writing partner from L.A. He hired somebody to sing the song we wrote.”
“Oh, (laughs) Well we had a whole little story in our heads. Anyway, I told your Aunt I was gonna try to get out there. And she said no matter what we would make it happen to get me out there.”
“Okay. Good. That’s great”
“So you know, by hook or by croo… Well, no, no, not by crook. But by hook anyway. I’ll get out there.”
Now am I a sick person that I found that to be hysterically funny? I promise you, I didn’t laugh until I hung up. He’s a sweet man. Really he is. I hope he can make it… by hook that is.