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9:31 am - Mon 6.17.2013
"The Villain Of The Piece"

The Villain Of The Piece

Sun 6/16/13

Didn't have to work today, because once again, attendance at last week's meeting didn't justify it (As always, I'm ambivalent about that - I never mind not working, but fear the lost money and lost hours are going to add-up eventually. But anyway...)

Thinking about Fathers Day more than I typically do, maybe because of going on Facebook and seeing all the "Happy Fathers Day" status updates, tributes to fathers, pictures of people with their fathers, etc.

But even leading up to the day, it popped into my head - "For Fathers Day, I'd like to go back in time, and punch my father in the nose" (Then I remembered he was a barroom brawler and could probably kick my ass, so I had to amend that thought - "For Fathers Day, I'd like to go back in time, sneak up on my father, and hit him in the head with a brick").

Apparently, my biological father had now taken the place of Omar Pupo in my angry fantasies (Omar Pupo being the foster father who, while not entirely a bad guy, sexually abused me for a time, called me names, and disciplined with a belt, then later with his fists).

They're both gone - Griggs Hoffmaster died sometime in the 90s, and Omar Pupo is, if not actually dead, might as well be (Lost to late-stage Alzheimers) - so they have both "escaped my wrath" (Though for the record, I would probably not hit either of them with a brick if they were in front of me right now...but they would definitely get a stern "talking-to" regarding their shortcomings as fathers, and as people).

But if I absolutely have to cast someone as a "villain" in my life, Griggs Hoffmaster is a very reasonable choice - If not for him being a drunken, abusive fuck-up, I don't end up in foster care, and there is no "Omar Pupo" in my life.

But it's interesting - The moment I start thinking "What if the guy who basically caused the pivotal 'Bad Event' of my life (Being put into foster care) hadn't been such a loser, and that 'Bad Event' had never happened?", I realize I have little to no idea what that "alternate life" really looks like - and whether it's that much better than the way things actually turned out.

I have no idea who I am in what would be radically different circumstances (Which would undoubtedly not all be "positive" circumstances, because that's not the way life works), and I have to make some interesting "decisions".

(To have never gone into foster care, would it be okay if that had meant never leaving West Virginia? If I didn't end up wanting to be an actor? If I were a gun-loving, Evangelical Christian right-winger? Would it be okay with me, if my "Fairy Godmother" granted my wish that Griggs Hoffmaster and my mother had happily stayed together and I'd never gone into foster care, that Tony and Gregg - my two half-brothers - and their progeny, and whatever good they've accomplished in the world, would cease to exist?)

Would I have the same set of emotional "tools" if I hadn't ended up in foster care? Or, conversely, would I be free of the "flaws" I lay mostly at the feet of my foster-care experience?

And the big question - Would I be any happier in my "What if?" life?

I don't know. Maybe...but maybe not.

It's an interesting "thought experiment"...but that's really all it is.

And since I can't definitively say "My biological father ruined my life" - cause I don't have a clear bead on what that "alternate life" looks like - he can't really be "the villain of the piece" (At least not in terms of "ruining my life". Now if you think about it just in terms of what he put my Mother through, and ruining her life? Well, that's a very different conversation...).

what happened happened, and here's where I've ended up.

And instead of worrying about who "the villain of the piece" is or isn't, I should be thinking "How do I make myself 'The hero of the piece'?".


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