The Sarcastic Child
Never will I forgive my mother and father for not being abusive alcoholics.
Mine was a childhood of endless nurturing and undying encouragement. I was never neglected, or forgotten about on a late weekend night by my parents. Never was I told that I’d amount to little, or that it was highly unfortunate that I had ever been born. Not once was I pushed, shoved or even belittled by my father. I never felt the the deep burn of a cigar on my arm or the great down-swing of my father’s belt. Not once did my mother come home drunk with a man and proceed to have relations with him.
She was too busy helping me with my seemingly endless supply of homework, or showing my glowing report card to Dad, bragging about how bright their son is. Or making us all delicious dinners (even if the caloric contents of which would later send us to our graves early). Or packing my lunch. Every single day. Or washing my god-awful hockey equipment. Or telling me that whatever 13 year-old girl had broken my heart that week wasn’t good enough for me.
At the time, I didn’t mind having such a perfect upbringing. But Jesus, how I now wish that my father could have been corrupted by Mr. Daniels himself, and plagued by fits of displaced aggression in the days when I was young. The fact that I was denied any such sort of mistreatment has greatly hindered my chances of becoming a brilliant poet or novelist, naturally.
Neither my Dad nor I knew that that each time he played catch with me, took me fishing or read me a Goosebumps novel before bed, he was destroying my future. The fact that he was doing so unwittingly is no excuse. He was my father, and fathers need to make their sons tough and do whatever it takes to unveil their true potential. With my scrawny little teen body, need-it-all nature and inability to shut the hell up as a child, my father had to have known I was destined to be a writer. But he did little to help me achieve my destiny, and he will have to live with that for the rest of his life. And it will be a long, guilt-ridden life, since the old bastard has never abused alcohol, cigarettes or drugs.
Now, I'm not saying that I had a childhood that was completely devoid of mistreatment from my parents. I will never forget the time my Dad would not buy me the top-of-the line $250 hockey stick I had my heart set on when I was 12, and instead made me settle for a mere $150 one-piece hockey stick that was used by most pros. The resulting inner fury and rage I experienced, however, was too manageable and short-lived to have any lasting impact on my artistic creativity and ingenuity as an adult.
I experienced a slightly stronger spark when my mother and father refused to let me sleep at friends’ houses. That incident begat a bitterness and resentment that lasted weeks, and resulted in a rather inspired essay I wrote soon thereafter about how my parents, like, totally sucked. But the essay was never published. In fact, I tore it up after my dad bought himself a sweet little car that could lug around our damn lacrosse equipment for my brother and I. I realized he needed to be pitied, not despised.
So I mean, yeah, I did suffer some emotional abuse and multiple injustices at the hands of my godforsaken parents during my childhood, but, unfortunately, it was nowhere near enough to make me a depressed genius artistically. If I had the opportunity to relive those years, I would display such a level of insubordinate and rebellious behaviour that my parents would have no other choice other than to smack me around and throw insults and threats that, hopefully, would provide me with the deep emotional scarring needed to produce multiple works of true literary merit.
If only my father had served in ‘Nam, and become physically dependent on heroine and opium. If only my mother had been smacked in the head so hard by Grandpa that it caused her to exhibit schizophrenic tendencies as an adult; then perhaps, just maybe, you would not be reading the self-obsessed grievances of a shitty writer you've never heard of, with absolutely no subject matter to whine about, but rather a chapter from the critically acclaimed autobiography of an astonishingly innovative Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning man of letters.
Damn you, mom and dad. Damn you both to hell for the care and love you showed me as a child and continue to show me now.