7:37 PM, Saturday, May 26th, 2013:
Strange, huh? I guess what I said in the video is a good chunk of this entry:
As my construction oddyssey enters another year I have been wondering where this is coming from. I don't have a background in this whatsoever. I certainly didn't get it from my father, and though I had a step-father who did construction - I was busy writing music. I never learned anything from him other than how to piss off those around you by not finishing the projects you start. I heard that a helluva lot growing up.
And then a 12 pack of Rolling Rock bottles were on sale for $8.99 and that mixed with my age, doing construction and my wife beater hit me like a ton of bricks: I sub-consciously became Dan. My step-father Dan. His favorite beer, his shirt of choice, his trade and in his late 30s. How did that happen?
It's like something gets lodged in your brain at 12 and 13 and 25 years later you finally put the pieces together: I wanted his approval. The age-old "trying to impress your father" even if he was just a step-father and he left the house when you were 18. But from 9-18? He was absolutely a role-model. Fiercely political mixed with the mental manipulation only an alcoholic can have, he forced me to use my intelligence and debate him. It's the only reason I was a successful talk-show host at 19: I had been fighting with words since I was 9.
He also did theater in his younger years, and as I got into theater in high school I was excited when he would come and see me and compare the plays he had been a part of. He was very supportive (which made the alcoholic side of him even harder to take) and when he left, though he was abusive to my mother, I was sad. I knew then the world was grey. Did it give me a Superman complex as I started adulthood? Absolutely. Palaur was the culmination of that. Very glad I got that out of my system so young. That's a horrible pattern to repeat. No I found new and totally different ways to repeat long-term relationships. Heh.
So Dan, are you impressed? I know you thought I could sing and dance and play music... but do you like what I built? I think I have that bug you did. I think I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment in building the same way I enjoy building a song or a story. I didn't know that as a teen... but clearly, you play a part in this. All this time, I've just been doing my best Dan impression...
...except that I'm finishing all of it.
I'm not sure I've ever really talked in-depth about Dan on this site, because as an adult my perspective changed. As a teen, he was extremely influential. I'm not kidding about the talk-show line. Battling wits with him from 9 on is absoLUTEly the reason I was able to walk into intense and heated political discussions live on-air at 19. Except, in the end? It means I had to battle as a kid. I learned how to deal with "drunk" (you don't, you wait until the morning), I learned so much about how women without self-esteem get PUMMELLED by the men in their lives, if only by words. There's just nothing that happened during those ten years of my life that I didn't learn a great deal from...
...but that's kind of the point. I had to learn the hard way by watching the pain someone caused people he loved simply because he couldn't stop drinking or thinking of himself. I remember when I got in my first car accident at 16 (uninsured driver plowed into me at a stop light). I was shaken up and it was the most adult and intense thing I'd ever been to. Dan called home that night from a bar and I mentioned it to him and he asked if I was alright, I was, but he never came home. I didn't see him until the next day. I was so hurt. I told him I was hurt and he got in my face. My mom thought we were gonna fight, I spent a few days at my grandmother's... he lacked empathy for sure.
...but that same guy took me to my first Bulls game and followed the Bulls bus on the freeway for a good 30 minutes as I watched my heroes talking as the setting sun came through their darkened windows. And as I said in the video he was extremely supportive of my talents and without the alcohol? Quite a lovely guy. I heard that after he split from my mom he quit drinking. Great. No, really - glad he did, but jeeeeeeeeeeeezus did it cause us pain. And I always say it's the "grey" of him that made it so hard. So much to love and hate at any given time. Constant back and forth during such formative years.
I feel like Don Draper talking about this. This mysterious life that no one knows about. There are people that have read this site for nearly 14 years and have NEVER heard anything about him. He came with his new family (and even that's a helluva story) to The Journey movie/show in January 2010. He was kind. He was old. He was there. Again, there's so much I loved about him. So much to process. There has to be something to why I'm suddenly building all this shit like he used to.
...or I just have the time right now and I like improving my environment. 'Cause I seriously never saw him do anything like this:
It would be cool if he came and saw it all one day. I think I would cry a lot for some reason. In fact, imagining showing him what I built, just like he built stuff, made me tear up. Man, some shit is buried pretty deep isn't it...
...like those shorts. Christ my mom's a hottie. And who's the MEXICAN KID!??!?! Wow. I remember this picture being developed. I remember it being the "new" picture we took as if it were last YEAR in my, well, in my heart.