Thursday, October 11, 2012

birds pass by to tell me that i'm not alone

My dad's name was Dayne. Dayne Thomas Anderson. He was a handsome man, funny and sincere. People wanted to be his friend - his authenticity was palpable from across the room. I'm not kidding. He had a good laugh, a barrel chest and teeny tiny heart tattoo on his left arm.

He was born in late December back in '63 (yep, like the song)and he wore socks to his calves. My feet look a lot like his did.

My mom divorced him for a few reasons, one of them: he had a drinking problem. A big one. And even though he was an amazing example of a true and genuine human, his faults destroyed his family on several occasions. It was devastating to hear them fight as a tiny girl from my bedroom and know the *exact* moment it turned physical because the fighting sounded differently. It was hurtful to know too much, like how extra-marital affairs were commonplace in my parents' marriage as an 8 year old. I knew the phone number to the police, by heart. I would hide and call them if things got too much for my little heart to handle. I couldn't participate in fundraisers; the money would be used for booze. These things, I'll never forget.

But along with those things, I know he loved me. I know he quit drinking for my brother and me - I know those things because he told me ALL THE FUCKING TIME. He apologized and I believed him. Strike that, I believe him. Alcoholism is a disease and because he was my dad and I was his daughter and because we are Andersons and because I know that life is a fuck fest most of the time, I forgive him. AND I believe him. I know he's sorry and I know that if he were alive, we'd be close.

People tell me I remind them of his best times. They tell me I have his smile and his social charisma. And I'm proud of that. I'm happy to be Dayne Anderson's daughter. I know now what I couldn't have understood then. And that is quite alright.

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