Sunday, March 08, 2009
Barack Obama, and a lost father-and-son bonding moment..(Vibe Throwback)
Whenever one of my friends asks me, usually while clutching one of their respective children no less, when I plan to pelvically set up a franchise or two of my own - I usually go into the plethora of reasons why I should never come within a square mile of fatherhood, like me wanting to teach them the debilitating benefits of the throat-chop before they can even walk, the wonders of growing potent marijuana in a bedroom closet, even teaching them how to give an emergency tracheotomy with a bent McDonald's straw. But the real reason that fatherhood scares me more than those hamfistedly clumsy "Hottest MC" lists that MTV thoroughly embarrasses themselves with each year, its that I sincerely feel as if I'd be one hell of a push-over as a father - overcompensating for my own father and his self-esteem killing rhetoric. Since I'd prefer not to raise any career felons, I can see my first born sending me letters from some state run institution blaming his current plight on my "daddy issues", I don't see myself injecting some poor soul who momentarily finds me to be a "nice guy" with the evil that is my demon-seed any time soon. But every time I buy a new calender, maybe its my fading memory due to years of marijuana abuse or the ability to engage in mature reflection born out of some new found wisdom, but my father had a lot of great qualities as well - which in turn makes me sometimes flirt with the possibly of bringing some dreadlocked having crumsnatcher into this world with a penchant for writing.
(My mother at the cemetery)Listen, I'm not the one to jump in the 85' Delorean and view the past with rose colored glasses here, our relationship at times was a dangerous tornado filled spiral filled with hateful vitriol that often swept up innocent members of my family in the process - but looking back with a fresh pair of eyes, I realized that the old man loved me but just had an extremely hard time of showing it. Especially when I think about the three things that we always tended to bond over: Women, Religion, and politics. On women, sometimes we would trade tales of our sexual exploits as if we were old frat buddies, me discussing whatever misguided soul at the time was allowing me to clumsily thrust on top of her - and my old man, showing me old pictures of him in Japan in the early 60's surrounded by beautiful Asian women. His stories were always so elaborate and engaging, I never felt the need to correct him when he often nicknamed himself "Mao Tse Tung" based on his oral sex skills - him being in Japan and Mao being Chinese and all. Our views on religion were identical, we both believed in god, but saw right through hustle-man preachers and other charlatans elegantly dressed in "messenger-of-god" clothing - often feeling that most people who suddenly decided to give their life up to god were either career fellatio givers or criminals with bodies buried at undisclosed locations.
But when it came to politics, our belief system was masterfully in lockstep like two Synchronized swimmers, with my "Public Enemy" inspired militant views mixed with his real life experiences of bona fide racism that would make the writer of "Mississippi Burning" soil his respective undergarments - we would spend hours discussing the politics of the day, with his words "I hope to live long enough to see the day when we have a black nominee for the presidency.." haunting my thoughts today.
On memorial day, when I went to Arlington National Cemetery to visit my father's grave with my mother - I thought about a story that made my old man tear up every time he told it. The man didn't shed a tear when he was going through pain wrenching cancer treatments, or while lying on his death bed wondering which breath would be his very last - but every time he told me the story of how his Navy shipmates cheered when John F Kennedy was assasinated because they felt that he was sympathetic to the plight of black folks, I could tell that that experience ravaged his body far worse than cancer ever could have. So as I stood above his grave, pouring a miniature bottle of his favorite whiskey over his plot, I told my father that we were on the verge of having a black Democratic Nominee.(I know there were more fitting topics of discussion, but in life I was so eager to bond with him that I went to the reliable forms of agreement - old habits die hard I guess)
Its times like last night, watching Obama give his lovely wife Michelle a very subtle "fist bump" and then going on to declare himself as the presumptive democratic nominee, is when I miss my father and daydream about the both of us repairing our fractured relationship and bonding over this historic moment if he were still alive. You know, that fatherhood thing seems more doable every day.