I had a father, but only in title. Just as I was his “son”.
Everything I have learned, I needed to teach myself. He offered little – but he tried, wrapped up in midwestern religion and nothing that a mind such as mine could see the slightest bit of value in.
“The Talk”, the most pivotal moment in a boy’s life, came far after I knew more than him, and the sage advice he gave to a ridiculously horny 16 year old boy was “abstinence”.
He was a good person, and I still remember his smile, his laugh.
But I remember everything else, as well – far beyond anything that could warrant a smile.
No, my body was not molested by him or his wife. That I could have separated from.
It was my mind that he, *they* tried to change. My soul that they tried to put in a neat little box.
I never was able to fit that box. All the money they paid to be “The Perfect Family”, all of the cash to buy this child – they had no idea what it would eventually cost them.
I still, somehow, love them, as a bird loves its cage.
But I taught myself how to fly.