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9:14 AM - Sun 6.20.21

Father's Day On Planet Hoffmaster

June 20th, 2021

Father's Day.

Means nothing.

Didn't know my biological father - In a letter from my mother, he was described as "a very nice, much older man, who died a long time ago".

Not a lot to go on there.

I was apparently close to my first foster father, Mr. DeHaven.

But he died when I was a toddler. I don't remember him.

When I left Mrs. DeHaven's care, I ended up in three different homes over the course of nine months.

All I remember of the man in the first home was him telling me, the night before I left his home, that I was not going back to Mrs. DeHaven but would be going to a new home instead.

I don't remember a man in the second home at all, though there had to have been one.

There was a man in the third home, but my only memory of him is him literally "kicking my ass" once (As in he literally kicked me in the ass, while wearing workboots), though I don't remember why.

(Another memory of that home? Getting exactly the same Xmas presents as their biological son - a kid's carpentry set and a German Luger pellet-gun.)

So I have no memories of a "father" till I was nine years old.

Till Omar Pupo.

And that relationship was...complicated.

Early on, there was sexual abuse.

There was physical abuse (i.e. discipline by belt when I was younger, moving to punches and kicks when I was older).

There was verbal abuse (He would call me names like "Clem Kaddidlehopper" - a ridiculous Red Skelton character - and "Herman Munster", and frequently call me "clumsy" and "lazy". He'd also make up stories about his kids where they were astronauts or cowboys and the like while always making me the "comic relief" of the story, which quietly hurt my feelings).

On the other hand...

He was smart (At least relative to my limited experience), funny, and at least somewhat creative, qualities I saw (Or at least wanted to see) in myself. Various abuses notwithstanding, I "related" to him more than anyone else in that family.

And while he was not supportive of my wanting to be an Actor ("Acting won't put beans on the table...!"), he was apparently proud enough of me to nudge the person next to him and say, "That's my son!" when seeing me in Dracula, my first high-school play).

In any case, for better or worse - okay, mostly "for worse" - for close to a decade, he was my "Dad" (I left that family, after a dispute with him when I was eighteen. Beyond a single, and very unsatisfying, exchange of letters some years later, we had no contact after that).

So not a lot of "fathering" in my past.

And I am not (and will likely never be) a father myself, a fact I am very ambivalent about (Though I don't mean I'd want it to happen now, for God's sake - That would be a nightmare).

On the one hand, I like kids, wonder what kind of father I might have been (considering all my positive traits), and, with not much in the way of "family", am profoundly worried about what's going to happen to me if/when I get to where I can't take care of myself.

But on the other hand, with no real models for decent "fatherhood", it's hard to imagine the chronically angry, depressed, easily frustrated, and generally self-centered person I've been all my life ever shaping up to be "Father of the Year".

So I end up feeling both that I missed out on maybe the most profound experience a man can have - being a father - and that "missing out on that profound experience" might have been the best gift I could give the world, all things considered.

I could go on...but I think you get the general idea - "Father's Day" is not much of a thing on Planet Hoffmaster.

Till next time...



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