Monday, June 18, 2007

Father's Day 2007 Storm report. Caveat Emptor.

...was preceded by a woeful Father's Day eve, if such a thing exists.

Saturday was a rough day at work. I got in some trouble for a technical violation of a rule even though it was justifiable in my eyes and a judgement call i chose to make. What the details are aren't important, but what is important is the strength of my character in saying that if this is the policy regarding such matters, then this is not a company i wish to continue working for. In the next couple of days we'll find out what comes, and I'm not too concerned either way.

My sister called me, which is a rare thing. She's got 4 kids, one of them brand new out of the box, so i'm sure she's busy with reading the instructions and following schematics and downloading the user's manual and whatnot, so i'm not too too hurt by any omission. She left me a message while i was at work letting me know she had a couple things she wanted to tell me, so I decided to call her after work as these things are rarely, if ever, good news.

Note: One day, my Spider-Sense is going to be wrong, and I will be struck dead from shock.

And onwards we go.

My sister had a message for me from my Father. Evidently, I owe a telephone company who's name may or may not start with AT&T about 30 bucks dating back about a decade. Given that my Father's and my names are incredibly similar (barring a different spelling on our middle names) he was eventually contacted by way of 50-50 chance to be sending the collection letter to the right guy.

So. He calls up my sister, and instead of:
a) Saying "Hey, Let Dave know there's a bill here for him, and let's find out a way to get it to him so he can take care of it"

b) Paying it. C'mon Dad, 30 bucks isnt too much. Think of all the money i saved you on all those birthdays and meals and failed forays at college you stiffed me on.

c) Even asking how i am.

He went with:

d) "Do me a favor. My name isn't on anything, so there's no way anyone should have been able to find me. You tell your brother that if he is out there using my name and information to get shit, I *will* find him."

Note for those at home. This was a threat, and one I have heard many times in my life. Just never aimed at me.

Ok, so. Upon hearing this, I ran through my own gamut of feelings.

a) Fear. Dad-fear. My dad is Hulk Hogan, but shorter. Same male pattern baldness, same fu-manchu moustache, same build and same intense physical presence. Also well skilled in "Whip-your-ass-fu."

b) Outrage. For starters, my credit is likely better than y ours. There's a reason his name isn't on anything, and it starts with "my credit is shot and they won't let me."

c) A mad giggle. I'm better at hiding than my dad is.

d) Anger. As in "Ok, Well, you tell your father that if he threatens me again, I'll find him first."

and finally

e) Sadness. He's really gone, and really not my father anymore.

The solution I decided upon was to attempt to take the high ground. I contacted the phone company, asked for the balance, and after some research, they found my account and i paid it off. 28.32, for those of you keeping score.

A clear head, and appendix A prevailed.

There's some residual effect though from the experience, especiall happening so close to the day of fathers. I wonder if i would have been as affected on another day.

But speaking of Father figures, i had more good news. My sister is a damned fountain of it.

My other Father Figure was a man my mother married after my parents divorce. They parted ways after an "unfortunate event or events" involving my sister.

I am neither elaborating, nor drawing pictures.

Well, it turns out that this "gentleman" now has a new ladyfriend who he is going to be moving in with. This is none of my business, of course, and why i was being told, i dont know for certain. I suppose in an abstract manner i should be pleased, if for no other reason than karmically, it's time to let things lie. Live and let lie, as it were.

But it turns out that his new ladyfriend has a teenage daughter.

It's none of my business. Ignore the spider-sense, ignore the feeling of moral responsibility. It's not my business.


That one i haven't resolved yet. I can stay away, not involve myself, and pray something much larger than myself will take care of it.

I can involve myself, open myself up to negative enrgy, in the heroic hope that i can somehow make up for not seeing it happen to my sister and prevent it from happening again.

I can pray that something has changed, and that like me, and my father, he isnt the same man that he was then.

The problem is with being a hero, that you take responsibility for things that you really have no business taking them for. If i do nothing, and something happens, am I really responsible? The scoundrel in my brain says no.

But that lion in my heart says something different.

After thinking about all this as i walked through the old neighborhood last night, I began to wonder why my sister told me this, and I became aware of the fear that i was being manipulated into a course of action by somoene who wanted the action taken but did not want to be involved themselves. I got angry, but then i can also see that side of why. If something bad happens to you, and you want to do something, but cant or wont, why not call your heroic lion brother?

I wish i could see a path clear of all this.

So there was Father's Day, which my Stormy (the cat) spent curled up with me, her soft paws on my arm whenever i was motionless.

Thanks Stormy.


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