If I’m being honest, I didn’t see a whole lot of my dad growing up. I wish I could say we would go fishing together, have inside jokes, build treehouses and play catch, but my father was just too busy jackhammering mom.
When I was really young I remember him being around more often. It was rare, but every now and then he’d get called into the bedroom. Mom said he showed promise and that he should keep working hard. He’d stand up at the dinner table and say, “One day I’m going to be on top!”
As I got older, it became more frequent. He missed a couple of basketball games because he had to plow late. I would look up in the stands hoping to find him, but I just knew he was nailing mom. I wondered if other kids’ fathers worked such long-hour boinkfests. I think he saw his dedication as love, but as a kid it was difficult to understand your father getting home and going straight into your mother.
I saw increasingly less of dad after he was promoted to a new sex position. The most I would get was an out of breath, mumbled, “How ya doin’ chief” with bags under his eyes. When I was 14 we went to see a Dallas Cowboys game. Right before kickoff he got a call from mom and said he had to take it. He said, “I’ll be right back. This won’t take long.” He returned just after the final seconds of overtime. Later I heard my parents arguing and my dad say, “Honey I love invading your crawl space, but it would have been nice to see the game.” But my mom deflected with a visceral, “Don’t stop!”
We had a school assignment to write a report on our parents. Other kids talked about their dad’s hobbies and jobs. I only really knew one thing about my dad to which the class did not react well other than Joey Knox saying my dad was “the man.” My coach noticed I wasn’t playing well and asked if everything was OK at home. I told him what was going on and he said, “Stop, stop, stop, stop, stop!” and put his index fingers in his ears. Some listener! I started acting out; getting in fights, bad grades, and writing angsty teen poetry about my dad spending all his time working an intense tapestry of intertwined flesh.
Looking back I almost blame my mom as much as dad. She was not only complicit, but would excuse and even encourage his lifestyle! One time dad and I were supposed to go hiking, but, sure enough, mom’s urge came up last minute. A few hours later, I asked my refreshed and satisfied mother “He’s not taking me hiking, is he?” And she said, “You’re very lucky to have the father you do. You know, some dads don’t even care enough to utterly turn their wives inside out.”
By the time I was an upper classman, you could tell the demanding slam schedule was taking its toll on my dad. He had lines all over his face and was constantly stressed out. It seemed like he was never off the cock. Once I caught a glimpse of his Outlook calendar on his laptop and it was wall-to-wall meetings with his wife followed by her endless performance reviews. Through their bedroom walls I’d wake up and fall asleep hearing singing, house music, Winston Churchill impersonations, Bible passages, glass breaking, strangers’ voices and him yelling, “We’re going public!”
One day it boiled over and I angrily barged into his room. I found him exhausted, smoking a cigarette at his desk surrounded by his usual toys, lubes and condoms. “Oh here he is, Father of the Year! I wish you weren’t my dad,” I yelled. He got so angry and said, “If it wasn’t for me, you wouldn’t even be here! You think I’m bad? I never even saw my dad. He was always vigorously splitting your grandma in two!” I sat down on the bed to sulk and after cooling down, he slowly sank down next to me. After a silence he spoke: “Look – I love you. But I don’t make the rules. I’m doing the best I can and it’s my job to make your mom outright beg for more.”
A lot of time has passed and I’ve got my own family now. For a lot of years I felt resentful. How could I not? But the older I get the more I understand my dad. He actually called me up last week! We jabbered on about the weather and sports and having kids. He bought a new rod and reel and asked me to go fishing. I told him I’d love to but right now my wife keeps bugging me about railing her brains out.