Maybe he will decide to come and visit you and your parents anyway.
Monty Bates
11

Maybe you could just go pick him up.

Maybe so, but when a man lives with being accused of harassment, being followed around and spied on by police who deny their little woman-ordered stakeout when confronted about it, when he has spent years constantly aware that his every breath is being seen as a malicious threat, such a project is not as easy to brace oneself for and carry through as it might seem.

I have been damaged by this. I try not to make it about me, because as I said above, he is the real victim here and always was.

But this experience, this life, has created fears and hesitations in me I never knew I was capable of having. I used to be bold and fearless and ready to tackle any challenge. No more. I have forgotten what it was to be that man.

It is effortless for me to envision driving all the way to one of the biggest cities in America (I also am near-terrified of big cities and avoid them passionately), looking him up, trying to act all friendly and “how have you been” with her relatives I haven’t seen for thirty years who I know have been fully-briefed on what a dangerous and unstable monster I am, and even if he had already agreed to go with me, changing his mind on the spot once I get there.

Or, arriving at this cousin’s home, only to find a police car parked out front with two vigilant public servants already prepped on what cues to respond to and haul my ass off to an urban lockup. Trespass, harassment, disturbing the peace, whatever. It wouldn’t matter. My crime would have already been, have always been, that I was the sperm donor who got fired but has yet to get the message that it was never intended for my son to be my family.

I could even imagine it being my own son, who called the police himself.

Sorry, but I have long since grown accustomed to, if still somewhat irritated by, people looking on at this situation and offering quick-and-easy solutions, always with the adverb “just” in them.

It ain’t that simple. The entire industry of dad-rejecting has seen to that, and I have found out already as described above, that this magic number “eighteen” is meaningless. A birthday cake with 18 candles doesn’t “just” erase a lifetime of brainwashing before it.

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