Sitting on the Dock of the Bay.

How I Met your Father

It was warm, sunny and an early summer morning when my father returned from his ritual walk and coffee at a local cafe. He was generally cheerful and again his ability to be loveable by so many was a gift. Sometimes I believe he had alters, that is, different states of “self” that came forward when he faced a potentially threatening situation psychologically. I am not a psychiatrist, just a very experienced witness and I have often wondered if he is a sociopath or perhaps a psychopath. Again the difference as I understand it is a psychopaths meanderings are not premeditated, a sociopath is well aware of what they are doing and why they are doing it, they know it is wrong but just don’t care.

I remember this so clearly. I am in the kitchen with my little sister and I am preparing her things to take her to her day sitter on my bike. Elle is out of town working no doubt and my sister would go to a lady’s house with lots of other children to play each day while BaD DaD “worked”. He entered and seemed excited and tells me he has met a really nice girl my age at the city docks and that she’d love to meet me. Now, mind you, I had friends and was involved with a very horrible “boyfriend” who was older than me. This is also something I will give detail on later. I do remember wondering why my father would give some random teenage girl our number and ask her to call me.

Biking through the alleyways, finding short cuts, through the parking lot of the little Catholic school and to the sitter was fun. I loved the responsibility I had for my sister and loved being needed. She is the only reason I put up with BaD DaD. The thought of returning back to my mother was very tempting, but I had freedoms in the new town I didn’t want to relinquish for the suburbs outside of Nashville, Tennessee. I loved the city docks and that I could get ice cream or pizza slices and sit there often watching boats pull in and fisherman take baskets of crabs and oysters to the markethouse. So, less than five minutes from me is where my father met my new friend. Was it strange? I decided to just go with it. We spoke on the phone and she came to meet me at the back gate which led to my new project, a garage apartment which would give me more space and perhaps keep me from hearing the constant quaralling and teary rows that went on between Elle and BaD DaD. I had just washed my hair when she knocked at the door so I had no choice but to receive her with a giant towel on my head. She was the most beguiling beauty I had ever seen. She would later tell me I was the glamorous one. I was enthralled by her poise, her dark, steady eyes, her tan, her confidence and laughter. She entered my life that day because BaD DaD had been hitting on her at the city docks. I decided not to tell Elle again.

Recently, after years of not knowing what happened to this dear friend, I found her. She’s a “desert rat”, (self description) and the healing has begun once again. Old wounds wrapped tightly, like a corset of thorns, memories of BaD DaD’s philanderings and lies haunt me. I have finally begun to examine each step, listen to other women’s stories and to not just feel the guilt of knowing what he was up to and not telling my family. It was not my job to monitor his behaviour then, NOW or ever. Today I begin to forgive “LittleMe” and in time I hope the light of who he really is shines so clearly to those still with him and I selfishly admit that I dream that my being farmed out as the black sheep will someday be noted as the county fair’s first prize in the “well groomed” category. After all, I had the best “groomer”.

Groomed by BaaaaaaD Dad