Dream of:11 July 2001 (2) "Angry His Whole Life"
With my mother and several other people, I walked into the kitchen of the Gay Street House. We had intended to simply pass through the kitchen, which was empty except for one chair in the corner, but I suddenly took notice that my father had sat down in the chair. I almost walked past him without even noticing him, but then I stopped, walked over to him and stood in front of him. We hadn't seen each other in a long time.
He looked about 50 years old; his hair was turning gray and he had a beard. I was going to shake his hand (I thought of hugging him, but I really didn't want to do that), but he remained sitting so we didn't even shake hands. Without looking at me, he began talking. Finally, he stood up, continuing to talk.
When he began criticizing me, I immediately stopped him. I told him that I didn't want to hear any criticisms and that he could keep his criticisms to himself. If I wanted to be critical, I could call him fat, since he was so obese. In defense, he pointed to his stomach and said he had lost 15 pounds. Indeed he did look slimmer – I had to give him that. When he said nothing else, I continued to criticize him. I also told him if he wanted to talk about something, we could discuss what he intended to do with his estate, a subject which had caused much of our problems. He walked around behind me, pulled up my shirt and glanced at my back. I had no idea what he was looking at.
A woman came down the stairs that led from the second story into the kitchen. She had her hair wrapped in a towel so at first I didn't recognize her, but then I realized she was my step-mother. She began fiddling with something on the stove. I said hello to her and when she didn't answer I again said hello. Although she definitely heard me, again she didn't answer, and rather indignantly I blurted, "What, she's not speaking to me?"
She began hovering over my father, pinned to his side. Obviously she was trying to control my father for her own purposes and just as obviously, he was allowing himself to be controlled. Nevertheless, I still wanted to talk with him, but not in front of my step-mother. I wanted to go someplace else where he and I could talk alone. I could tell my father also wanted to talk with me. He walked over to the door to the basement, opened it, and headed down the steps to the basement. I followed.
Once we were in the basement, I reflected how familiar the basement seemed to me; I remembered it well. As I was looking around, my father had disappeared into the shadows, but I could still hear his voice, as all the while he had continued to talk. As he had been talking, I had noticed his language seemed somehow strange. Finally, I realized that he was using "art" instead of "are," and that he was using other outdated expressions. Then I realized he must have converted to some kind of new religion that used "thee" and "thou" like some religious sects do. The idea seemed farcical to me and I wondered if my step-mother had something to do with this ridiculous conversion.
He stepped out in front of me and he talked about how surprised he was that I had been away for so long and that I hadn't contacted him. He also talked about his surprise that I was willing to give up my interest in his estate. He said he could hardly believe I was willing to give up everything.
In a way he seemed to admire me for my decision, because he realized I had some principles more important than money.
I had to admit his tone was conciliatory. Nevertheless, I told him the only sound I heard was anger. I was becoming somewhat emotional. I could feel my eyes starting to water and I seemed to have trouble getting my words, but I stopped any tears from coming. He said he had wanted to talk to me, to call me, but taht he had never brought himself to it.
He walked toward me as if he wanted to hug me, but I pushed him back.
I wanted to tell him that he had been angry his whole life, but that he had been angry at himself and that he had only taken out his anger on me. I simply was no longer going to be the brunt of his anger.
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