Today is Father's Day in Australia. I want to remember my father.
He was a good Christian man. He was upright willing to help strangers in need He was honorable and decent. He just wanted to do the right thing. He did his best to uphold the peace and did not bear grudges. He prayed daily and served in a major role at church.
But we weren't close.
I think I was a big disappointment to my dad. I am so unlike him. I wasn't academically brilliant. I did not have the drive to study hard - and memorizing facts and details was too hard for me.
When I was about 10 or 12 years old I approached my dad to help with a math problem I had. I couldn't understand it.
My dad had a PhD in Chemical Engineering- he belonged to the old pull yourself up by the bootstraps sort of man. He worked his way into University and survived by doing part time work to keep himself at school. Due to the war he missed out 4 years of schooling - but he had determination and will power.
I'm not him. I needed help. I needed guidance. I needed a father figure to lean on.
Unfortunately he wasn't the man to turn to.
I remember - and will always remember the look of absolute disgust that he showed when I asked him for help.
And he said, "Go and learn it yourself."
I was shocked. Here I am. Your son. Your only son and I'm asking you for help. And here you are refusing to help. I'm fucked now. And I wept.
I think in the end he relented but it was just painful humiliation. He drew out the equations and mocked my inability to understand or grasp it. He might as well have fucked me in the arse.