Monday, June 26, 2006

Selfish Preservation

My father went under the knife for some major surgery this afternoon. Since he lives several states away, it's impractical to be there with him - although the distance is probably less of a factor than the fact that I’d have had to deal with his wife.

Without going into detail, suffice it to say I’ve very concrete reasons for having cut this person out of my life – I’ve cut her out to the point where it’s now been about four years since I’ve even been in the same room as my dad. I’m happy to talk, deal with or see him so long as she’s not around. He knows this but doesn’t want to acknowledge it, even though I’ve made it very clear in both word and action these are “my” rules; rules which I feel I’ve earned the right to lay down and have respected and understood.

Talking with him late last week, he seemed fairly positive about the surgery, which if you knew him kinda sorta says something - he’s not the most exuberant person I’ve ever known. But upon asking how I might contact him post-surgery, he said he would have her call me.

Very awkward silence on my end of the line and then after a split-second thought, “Ummm, yeah. Sure. I guess. Whatever.” More awkward silence from his end this time. And then some terribly awkward, rushed goodbyes and "I love yous" from both ends. In the aforementioned split-second it occurred to me that I do not have to pick up the phone – all I need do is keep an eye out for a certain area code on the Caller ID and check the messages afterwards.

Which is exactly what happened about an hour ago. Even her voice is like my own personal heebie-jeebie inducing boogeyman. I was fine with the message's content – which detailed his room number and so forth - up until the very end in which she said, “I’ll try back later”.

Why!?!? I’m not going to answer then either. There’s nothing that verbally needs to be exchanged between the two of us. My silence ought to say plenty. Even if, perish the thought, something had gone wrong in surgery, there are other people in his life (like his brother) who can contact me and provide the same information without me having to go through her.

So now you, loyal reader, can judge for yourself whether I’m a world-class prick or just a guy whom early life fucked over enough times that he's been reduced to playing stupid, bullshit high-school games like the one outlined above.

UPDATE: The phone has now rung two more times since the initial message.