I'm finding myself permanently angry at my father.
Nothing has changed, really, other than the fact that I found out from my aunt last week that SWAT had raided my childhood home in April. My father's girlfriend's son, GR, had apparently come into a pickup bed's worth of "pelts and tusks." He had further chosen to hide out at the house I grew up in, which my father isn't currently living in, instead choosing to live in the house his parents built in the '60s. Thus did SWAT call my father to inform him that they had knocked the door down with a battering ram.
My aunt calls GR a "meth addict" because he's on methadone so I figured I'd get the actual scoop from my sister, who I am also on diffident terms with. My sister confirmed the key details ("tusks and pelts") and reminded me that GR had also recently bought a brand new Kawasaki on credit, had it seized by the bank, had my father pay the fees on it, had GR take out a payday loan on it, had my father pay off the payday loans on it, and now they have a brand new Kawasaki they've paid three times over for. She was most incensed, of course, about the fact that my father was ready to pay $250k for GR's hepC treatment last year despite the fact that there are programs that pay for it in full. All about the benjamins, that one. Two years ago I found out my father had been in the hospital for a week with kidney failure because she called me up to beg me not to contest the will.
We discussed the utter New Mexico-ness of it all; her ex-boyfriend somehow came up and she discussed how the most New Mexico thing in her life was how she fell in love with him when he tearfully confessed having to shoot a guy in the back of the head because if he didn't he'd get shot by his boss. I pointed out that was kind of like how he didn't have a choice but to call in bomb threats for six weeks or else he'd have to take a chemistry midterm. Don't worry the story has a happy ending; they were rear-ended while together which got them both years of physical therapy and a $250k settlement which they both spent on drugs. His head ended up on the side of the road outside Amarillo because he crossed the Zetas and she has an architecture degree she doesn't use. That was after my parents had invited him to live in the house for nine months, of course. Fuckers slept in my bed. Parents went to Brazil for three months and left their seventeen-year-old daughter and her 23-year-old street pusher boyfriend there to feed the dogs.
And...see... I had a friend released to my recognizance at the age of 18 by the Santa Fe PD because he was beating up his mom. The home town PD released my sister to me a couple times because fuckin' hell I was the only one who would answer the phone at 3am. I never got so much as arrested. In a town where the chief had officers follow and harass me for nine hours at a time because my mother was invited to a lesbian wedding in the '80s, I never had more than two points on my driving record. Really, I lucked out; no less than three officers died in "friendly fire training accidents" in the '90s and there's no way Brian could have survived as long as he did except as a CI. The corrupt incompetence of my home-town police department earned a friend of mine a $2m settlement in the 2010s but back in the '80s/'90s it was just dirty good ole boys.
I called up my dad when Ethereum went from 50 cents to six bucks and he called me a criminal because "the only way to use bitcoin is for crime." When I broke a million dollars I sent him Gilder's Life after Google and he threw it in the garbage and called me a criminal again. This was about the time his common-law son-in-law was emptying my childhood shop of every socket, air tool and other vaguely-valuable-object to pawn for heroin. I looked it up; by then, GR had been convicted seven times.
It's been pointed out to me that some people's approval is not worth seeking. It's so hard, though. I became an engineer because my father is an engineer. It's also been pointed out that having a successful wife, a successful business, a smart happy kid and a Porsche in the garage is the right kind of vengeance but vengeance is never something I've sought.
I think I've internalized that my father associates with people he can feel superior to, so the minute he decided I was doing better than he was he just stopped calling. It might be a factor in why he's so much closer to my sister; she's always in need of more help. It's certainly a factor in why everyone around him is now a Breaking Bad guest star. I'd be lying if I said I don't see the tendency in myself. Up until 25 or so there was no one so fucked up I couldn't fix 'em.
So really, the fact that my father has ignored me my entire life is the highest complement he can pay. And I can say that? But the little kid inside me still doesn't understand.
This week's ABC Afterschool Special brought to you by the word "tusks"