The “dear” is just a formality and lack of term. I was at a loss for how to address you. I wrote a card for Ma on this site, so I figured it only appropriate I write one for you. Except, this isn’t a birthday “card” for you. This is my birthday "card."
My sister told me you dropped off my birthday card at her house. Two days early. I would chalk it up to one of your few redeeming qualities, your over the top punctuality, but I know the truth: you were in her area to go to the bar, possibly with my uncle, and thought you’d get your obligatory “fatherly” duty out of the way. God forbid you would actually make the effort to see me, or my new place, which I’ve lived in for eight months now.
My girlfriend’s parents have been asking me what I want for my birthday for over a month. I’m currently waiting for Link’s Master Sword in the mail from them when it occurred to me that they know me, and care to know me, more than you ever have in my twenty-nine years of existence.
When we see each other, the semi-annual times we do now, there’s three things you talk to me about because it’s all you know about me:
“Jeeze, the Senators are having a rough season.” Hockey: 1 point.
“Did you see Paul McCartney’s latest video with _?” Beatles/Music: 1 point.
“I’ve learned Vincent by Don McLean on guitar, could you play that on your bass?” Musician: 1 point.
To simplify me as those three points is disappointing and pretty pathetic as you’ve been around my entire life. You know absolutely nothing about me, and it seems you don’t care to know anything else. I couldn’t fathom having children and not knowing them, and I can’t imagine not wanting to know them. Maybe one day you’ll see this, so I decided to let you know who I am.
1. I wrote my first poem at eleven; it was probably complete garbage. I remember sitting in social studies class and out of boredom, unleashing my thoughts into rhymes. I showed it to Ma, and she was so proud she hung it up in her office for years.
2. My favourite colour (cliche, I know) is usually peacock blue- unless it’s mixed with another blue. But I love all bright colours, especially red, green, purple and gold.
3. I always wanted to play hockey and football, but you guys were both such alcoholics you never thought to enroll me in anything as a child. Now my knee is too sensitive to play any sports.
4. Speaking of my knee, it’s a disease called osker-schlatz (spelling) which is a calcium build up inbetween my knee cap. When I was sixteen, our doctor told me if I hit it too many times (the pain level is a 10 when that occurs) I run the risk of losing circulation and needing an amputation.
5. I’ve been a vegetarian (except for turkey and the odd chicken) more than half my life. I stopped eating meat at thirteen: so please, stop buying me gift certificates to The Keg at Christmas. The last one I used to eat an appetizer and drink.
6. I hate drinking, and it’s mainly because of you. I remember being a child and wondering why you both would rather drink than spend time with your kids. At eight I made a promise to never have my own children feel that way.
7. I'm half deaf, but I have impeccable eye sight. It's a weird, cruel balance.
8. I play the bass guitar, yes, but I also know how to play the six string electric. I knew how to play guitar ten years before you learned. I also want to learn the drums and piano one day.
9. I plan to one day get my piloting license. I always wanted to be a fighter pilot in the military, because I have such recklessness for my own life that I think I could be one of the best pilots in the world if given the chance.
10. I am a drug addict. I remember as a teen smoking weed in my room and when mom would ask about the smell, you would cover for me and say it was the candle I lit. Thank you for that. But what you don’t know is that at fifteen I tried my first oxycodone and realized it was the best feeling I would ever experience. For years I would snort pills in my room, a mere few feet away from you guys. One night I had probably railed ten pills and passed out with half of a Fuzzy Peaches candy cane in my mouth. I should’ve died that night but I didn’t.
11. After Ma died I realized you can miss someone being overprotective of you. I used to come home so fucked up that I could’ve overdosed, you never noticed because you were too drunk yourself. I remember lying on the floor of my basement thinking if I was going to overdose, you wouldn’t realize until my body started to smell. You might not even notice, then.
12. I know you stole my inheritance from ma, and I know you tried to claim it under my name in taxes. A week before she died Kate and I begged her to sign the house into our names, that you would let it go to shit and sell it when in need of a quick buck. She reassured us you weren't getting a cent, but she wouldn't leave you homeless. I was right. Not only that, but you had Kate and I sign something a day after mom died, it was boxing day was a bank even open? Who focuses on financial matters less than twenty-four hours after losing the person they loved?
13. In relation to #12, I found the will. You wouldn't give it to me when school needed it to allow me to redo my semester (thanks for that, btw.) and I saw a bright red flag when you said "they don't need it." That's how I know that you stole the money left for Kate and I. I always thought $80,000 wasn't "a lot" in mom's words. What bothers me the most out of the whole situation is that you actually believe you could outsmart me. The extra $200 grand would be swell, but I do not put a price on my pride like you.
14. Once more, I have the original copy of the will. I stole it when you were drunk, drove to a twenty-four hour Shoppers and photocopied that shit. You have the copy. I have the original.
15. Everyone thinks it's weird that you are marrying a woman who has the same name as Ma. God, will she take our last name? It's strange that you are still wearing your mask for them five years in. Doesn't it get tiring not showing who you truly are? Or is she that big of a loser that she knows and is staying regardless?
16. I remember the two times I almost died as an infant, and I remember it was because of your carelessness and lack of interest in my existence.
17. I'm thinking of auditioning for a musical. I've always wanted to, and if I can time it right, maybe I'll knock something off my bucket list.
18. My biggest fear is becoming you. I hate that my physical attributes come from you, and so does my more mild and quiet nature. When Kate wants to wound me in a fight she refers to me as you. I hate it more than anything.
19. I've wanted to end my life, I've even gotten so far as to write a note twice. Neither time were you addressed, or mentioned. I figured you wouldn't read it and you wouldn't care.
20. It just dawned on me that you'll never read this either, and if you did, you still wouldn't care.
I have a father but not a dad. Could he even write 20 things to say to me, if given the chance?
Extremely personal again. Just wanted to get it out. Sorry for the harsh vibes.