Here’s the weirdest moment from this Easter (i.e., the best Easter ever). Mind you, the night ended with Fuckin’ Jeff and I eating meatloaf and edamame at an absent Mike Brown’s house while we gave loose commentary over a slideshow based around an encyclopedic slide collection I picked up from the library. It was a moment that never would have happened if Mike Brown wasn’t in Europe. (Otherwise, he’d have dominated in the front room with his favorite video game, Skyrim). I’m not kidding when I say I have a slide of everything. Pick a topic, I’ve got it. Very strange. But here’s the weirdest thing that happened on Easter:
I was with my dad at a random coffee shop. The fact that my family puts any weight into Easter is kind of bizarre, especially when considering my dad is Palestinian-Muslim. By the way, he’s very concerned with me. I have longish hair, a super shitty mustache, play in punk rock bands and write for publications that support all of that. Back when I was a weed dealer and making a good amount of money, none of that mattered. Now that I’m more concerned with earnestly putting words on paper (a habit that leaves me barely capable of bringing in enough money to stay fed, chronically broke and apparently in danger of ever becoming anything), my lifestyle is less okay. It’s a constant struggle between us. You see, cool dads hate watching their kids struggle, and judging by my dad’s response to the bullshit I deal with on a general basis, he must be super cool.
So we go get coffee. Out of the blue, he’s all, “I’ve been thinking about things. A lot of things. And I’ve been saving up–just in case something happens to me.”
‘Okay,’ I thought.
“I’ve been saving up,” he repeats, “just in case something happens. I want to make sure that you’re taken care of.” He paused. Dads love pausing. “I don’t know how much money I’ll have, but whatever it is, I’ll probably leave it in a trust, most likely in your little sister’s name. She would be a good administrator.”
“Okay” I said.
“I’m not going to leave it to you in a lump sum,” he said, “but I’ll make sure you get a certain amount every month.”
He paused again, this time in afterthought.
Why he said that was fairly indicative of what he assumes my lifestyle to be. I couldn’t help but ask a simple question.
“So you want me to ask my little sister for a cash allowance every month?”
He smiled before shuddering. You can’t make this shit up. My dad looked at me honestly and said, “I’m concerned about you on a long term basis. I don’t think I’m going to let you access it until you’re sixty.”
“Dad, what makes you think I’ll make it to sixty?” I asked with genuine interest.
“Why would you question that?” he responded with genuine confusion.
I thought about my lack of health insurance, shoulder that pops out at the command, previously broken spine, gnarly scars all over my scalp, freshly broken nose, overall shaky nerves, inability to find a job that supports me, country that hates me and an incredibly depleted savings account.
I summed it up succinctly with a, “Well Dad, the way things are going…”
“Most of your injuries were superficial,” he said, apparently convinced by his own tone.
“Dad. Do you remember the X-Rays?”
I reminded him of that time I had to learn how to walk again, which somehow didn’t impress him. My dad is the coolest.
Later on, my youngest sister and I talked about the whole thing. Apparently both my parents had brought it up to her a number of times, and she was worried about the responsibility they were forcing upon her. Maybe I’d care or something. Some people care when it comes to money, no matter how much, but greed has a lineage of its own and I’m far from a descendent, despite a perceivable desperation.
The thing is, my family isn’t worried about me for any specific thing, outside of being a lovable loser, but my father, who isn’t rich, does want to keep me alive as long as he can regardless of how miserable it makes me. They like me. Sure, they’d like me more as a Henry Miller-esque philosopher who had a full-time job, a wife and a picket fence, but they’ll take me as I am. Against his better wishes, my dad has decided to embrace the concept of the latter never becoming a reality, accepting me as this weird embodiment of something he’ll never understand.
And that makes me love him.
The fact that he wouldn’t have approved of a 2 A.M. alcohol-fueled artisan slideshow is completely irrelevant. I can’t wait to ask my little sister for a cash advance! The fucked up part is, I’ll probably never get the chance.
BEST EASTER EVER