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Teenage angst has paid off well; now I'm bored and old

You always thing it could never happen to you. They're so happy. And…

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You always thing it could never happen to you. They're so happy.

And then it hits you. Hard. Like a punch to the stomach and a shot in your heart.

Last night my mother tripped on something and fell, and she couldn't get up. My brother and I got her and carried her to her room, and she was crying, constantly apologizing and thanking us. We did what we had to do. This is our mother and we love her.

I stayed with her for a while, comforting her, telling her I loved her. She was still apologizing, still thanking me, still telling me she loved me. She was so tired, she said, and I knew she was. It was a very bad week for her--she had to work overtime and her boss's boss was pressuring her to get her work in on time, plus the puppies, plus dealing with us.

And then she said, "It's been even harder because your dad has been gone."

And by gone, she didn't mean the divorce, although that could be an undertone.

My father comes around his obligatory Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nights, and Saturdays and Sundays. This week he had to go to Michigan, from Tuesday till Friday.

And it angered me.

Not that he went to Michigan.

Everything else.

He comes home, smiling, holding up a too-big periwinkle T-shirt and says, "There's not much in Michigan," smiling.

I smiled back and accepted. I don't remember if I thanked him. I thought about thanking him later, but I didn't.

And as I lay there with my mother, I wondered, how could he do this to her?

My brother and I were used to him not being around that much from an early age, and I never had a very good relationship with my father...but my mother loves him, and despite everything she says, that she doesn't need to rely on anyone but herself, she still looks to him for comfort, for support.

It kills me.

He's selfish. He's cruel. He tries to make up for what he's done to us by assuring us he's going to take care of us, by picking up my cigarettes for me, by taking my brother golfing.

And for what? So we can forget that he's a worm.

"I'm still your father. You don't have to love me, but you have to respect me."

I'll respect you when you earn it, which you probably won't. Until then, take some pressure off my mother and shut the fuck up.
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