Hardwired

I’m writing to tell you about your father, the man I knew, the man he aspired to be but never fully became, many who knew him in his youth would call him a good man a decent man plagued with heartache and horrors, you see he watched his father your grandfather die of cancer thirty years too soon, afterwards he ached to fill the gap left by his father by trusting respectable men and teachers who taught him to confuse sexual acts with love, these men hardwired the connection between intercourse and intimacy, your father’s life was marked by a series of misconnected ideas and premature sorrows.

You are not your father.

When we first met you were a tiny boy with unkempt red hair and large emerald eyes welled with unshed tears, you curled yourself into my lap repeating the phrase, you don’t know, you don’t know, into my chest like a mantra against pain, against the memory of earlier in the day when you watched as he shot himself, but I do know, I know your pain, I also know that people will tell you that he was a monster, that he did terrible things to children, you know this to be true because you are his child, but some day in the future you will want to remember the good things, how he taught you to kiss like a puffer fish with your lips pushed out as far as they could go, you will want to remember how much he loved you and that you are his auspicious boy.

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