People tend to leave

My dad left last Saturday, refusing to tell anyone where he was going. Before he had left, and before I knew about it I texted him telling him to stop trying to contact me. I blocked his number and deleted him from Facebook. Today was my first normal feeling day since, although that underlying uneasiness won’t ever go away. I’ve recently realized that I’ve had many people die in my lifetime, all 24 years of it. I know, I’m old. I first took notice of it almost a year ago when one of my best friend Michelle’s grandpa died. She had such a difficult time with it, and although I empathized with her, it felt so normal to see someone in a casket. I knew him, too. He was a phenomenal man with an awesome track record and national recognition. So I could imagine that constantly being reminded by newspaper articles and her grandpa’s fans wasn’t easy. But one night she just broke down, which led me to ask her if she had ever lost anyone. She said it was the first time and she didn’t see how I could have handled it. All I could say to her was that it gets easier.
And now I think, is that morbid? That death just gets easier? That something so life changing could become just another event that you learn to get over quicker and quicker. And I understand that it could be a defense mechanism. Maybe our bodies can’t handle anymore stress so they just don’t react.

A few years ago I was head over heals for this guy who turned out to be a robotic fucking asshole. He avoided me for two weeks at the end of it all, then when he decided to suck it up and talk to me, he told me he had never loved me and all those times he had said he did were lies. You know that feeling that your heart is being torn into tiny little pieces then spread all in between your ribcage? Yeah, it was one of those. It so happened I had a scheduled visit with the shrink that week, and what started as an attempt to get over daddy issues, turned into nonstop tears over a robot. Miss Margaret told me that losing someone in that way was like having someone in your life die. And yeah, I realized I had to morn just the same.
I’ve seen more caskets than I would have imagine I’d see at my age, and I’ve had many close people die or just leave voluntarily. And although I know death is a part of life, deep down I can’t help be fear that heart wrenching feeling again.
I’ve been hanging out with someone lately, let’s call her Erin. During one of our late night, couch laying talks we asked each other our biggest irrational and rational fear. My biggest rational fear used to be people leaving my world without knowing that I loved them, like really loved them. When she asked, my rational fear switched to being my irrational, and a new rational fear moved in its place. It turned irrational because no matter what I did for my dad, he always tried to guilt trip us, acting like he wasn’t loved. And the reality is that if it weren’t for us in his life, if it weren’t for my mother, he’d be a single mess probably living in a dumpy apartment in East LA. My rational fear turned into people leaving me. Death, change of heart, friendships. And because of this newfound fear I’m starting to realize this constant push and pull between letting myself be vulnerable with people, and hiding it all.
I can’t seem to find a balance, and I’m starting to wonder if I ever will.

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He called on Christmas Eve

He didn’t call me for 5 months. Not after a tornado, bad weather, and after hearing that I ended up in a ditch. Not after my Mom refused to stop telling him my life. He texted me a few times, usually photos of paintings he was working on. I don’t know what he expected to come of it, that I would write back how talented he is? How it’s about freaking time he did something he enjoyed, instead of always complaining how much he didn’t have time for it.

But I guess my dad had time to call me finally, on Christmas Eve. And of course, I was having a nice, cozy dinner with Evangelista and her awesome family. I wasn’t about to answer the phone because he finally realized we hadn’t talked in months.

So I waited until Christmas day to call him back. I didn’t want to FaceTime him, but he did try the night before, so I figured it was only fair to give him a chance at it. Sooo, I FaceTimed him, and he sat there for a few seconds holding back tears. Yeah I missed him, but I wanted so badly to be able to reach through that phone and knock his head. This call could have happened months ago. And sure I could have called him, but he would have missed the point if I had. Or so I thought.

Small talk ensued and then I asked about the Christmas card he had sent. The first line read “I haven’t called because I know you don’t want me to.” He said well you didn’t. “Damnet Dad, no. You weren’t listening. I said call me when you are ready to stop lying to me. At this point, I gave up hoping you’d stop drinking. But I couldn’t take the lying.” And with all seriousness, he said, “Oh, then I must have read that wrong.”

And there went 5 months of not talking.

See I thought my dad was hardhead, but shit, not this hardheaded. I asked if he was done, done drinking I meant. And he said he was. I guess I won’t believe it until it hits a year.

He never did say he wouldn’t lie to me anymore.