Daddy, Why Don't You Love Me?
My dad doesn’t love me. He loves himself, his money, his house. Even his TV, that thing you replace every few years if it’s broken or time for an upgrade. I was the broken one he never could substitute. Nothing was ever good enough and no amount of good-girling helped. A’s should have been A+. I’m fat. I’m ugly (Ug-Mug was my pet name). Be more like her. Tough words for someone who’s a ghost dad, using his presence to haunt and torment. He’d come home after a long shift and go straight to his room. No words. No pats on the head. No hugs. No kisses. Or, he’d glue to the TV. I was terrified to interrupt this romance. He yelled with such a booming voice before it squashed me. Death to my inner spirit. Doctors once thought my appendix burst. Mom calls and he says he’s watching sports, to only call if they were taking me to surgery. I almost drowned in a pool. People screaming for help. As I bob in and out of the water with pierced eyes on him, he takes off his shoes, socks, watch, chain, wallet, shirt. “I knew I was going to get to you before you drowned,” he said as I spewed out water and gagged on its residuals. I’ve also been trampled. A young kid at World on Wheels. A shooting breaks out and I still have on skates. My dad left me! I saw him running away from ME! People with shoes ran too and knocked me down, now they are pressing their weight into my fragile back, using me as their floor. I wasn’t worth as much as a TV and now I was no better than that dirty, filthy ground I laid on. “I only came back cuz I knew I couldn’t go home without you. Your mom would kill me,” is what he said as I stood there shaken, bruised and marked by foot tracks. There were more abandonments like these. It’s why I’ve dealt with depression. It’s why I tried and failed at committing suicide twice. “You couldn’t even get that right.” It’s why I drink and smoke to cover up the pain. I use smiles, laughter, anger too. When that’s not enough, I use fetal cries to release.