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Sunday, May 20, 2012

F'n Thank You

My dad wanted a roast.

He turned 70 and wanted us to roast him in front of people. His idea.

Some folks figured I would go off. After all, I have a history of going over the top of the inappropriate high bar. He was not a perfect father. I was not a perfect son.

You might be putting flame to gun powder.

When I was in my 20s, I sat next to a high school English teacher on a plane. She seemed good. Nice. I got to thinking, my high school English teacher wouldn't remember me. If she did, it would NOTbe fondly. I passed notes during classes, cheated off my future sister-in-law, and looked out the window. A lot.

But I worked my ass off on that term paper. It was sink or swim and I got a C. I was thrilled. I don't think I passed her class by a whole lot, but here I was 10 years later trying to write for a career and recalling how much I learned in her class. She wasn't burnt out, like high school teachers can get. Not jaded or hollow. There was something genuine about her. I sure as hell didn't recognize it then, but -- 10 years later -- I did.

So I wrote her a letter. I told her all that.

She wrote me back. I don't think she remembered me, but that didn't matter. It was important that she heard it. Even if it was 10 years late.

So when my dad's roast arrived, I was humbled.

Humbled to have the opportunity to make him laugh. Humbled to tell him that, despite all the shit, he really mattered to me.

Humbled to say, F'n thank you, Pop.

It was a roast, after all.

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