I’d like my dad to be alive. If he were alive, he’d be 103, I think. I imagine him in Florida, 103, skin like rock, but brown from the sun. I imagine him shriveled, but full of joie de vivre, dressed in pink golf pants with creases, and two-tone golf shoes. I imagine him one of those Republicans who voted for Obama, even though Obama was black, and a democrat—not only because McCain was a retarded monkey and Palin a yahoo, but because his granddaughter needed a better planet. That’s how much he’d love her: against his better judgement, he’d give her a better planet.
If my grandmother had a dick, she’d be my grandfather. Like that.
Who knows where I’d be had my father not got cancer when I was seven and died two years later. Would I be in some kitchen on the upper east side where he’d stand in shorts, even though it was winter, like Bronnie’s dad did (his foot in a plastic boot, after surgery), holding his massive hands out at his sides and saying to me, “Everything’s going to be fine. Just let it go,” when he knew I was upset? Would he take care of it for me, like Bronnie’s dad? Like kissing a boo-boo, and pretending it would now all go away, just because he was there?
Trungpa Rinpoche said that women are crazy and men are stupid, and I think that captures something. It’s not that men are stupid, really; it’s more like they’ve been raised to be protectors (and porters), and that requires a certain padding. Dads will be your padding, if you need them to be, I imagine. If they’re still there when you need them. This is my fantasy. Some women count on their husbands this way, and that sounds good to me too. I’m a little tired. I’d like to take off all the padding and hang out with my dad in Florida for awhile.