WB, Dad, Tyler's Been Looking for You

>> Wednesday, March 21, 2007

As if disconnected from YM and signing back again, my dad, whom I haven't seen since New Year 2000, suddenly emails me again after a five-month silence. Everytime my dad comes into view, I could only think of this passage from Fight Club, and boy, isn't Tyler Durden right?!

"This is the first generation of men raised by women. Me, I knew my dad for
about six years, but I don't remember anything. My dad, he starts a new family

in a new town for about every six years. This isn't so much like a family as

it's like he sets up a franchise."

[My dad, in a nutshell. Welcome back, dad. Tyler's been looking for you.]

Exactly a week before graduating from high school, our Christian Living teacher thought it would be nice to write a letter to our parents. Since my mom was in Hong Kong at that time, I had to write one for my dad. I didn't see the point because my dad did not live with us anymore. But I wrote the letter anyway thinking it would be only for God to read. The next day, I was surprised to see my dad at our class' year-end retreat. And when we were instructed to read to our parents the letter we wrote, I knew I was in deep trouble. I only made it past the second sentence, after that, I broke down. My dad ended up reading the letter by himself. I almost felt ashamed I wrote it. He explained to me his side of the story and after that, for the first time in my troubled teen life, everything was clear. Nothing changed between me and my dad after that letter except that I have found respect for him and finally understood his actions. A year later I moved from Bacolod to Davao without him knowing. And three years more, my dad flew to the US without me knowing.

December 31, 1999. I was standing on the vacant lot beside my dad's duplex in a low-class housing community, observing that in the city outskirts, the stars seemed brighter. My dad found me in the dark, and before I could throw the cigarette I was holding, he asked for a light. He puffed and told me to quit smoking already (insert laugh track here). He thanked me for buying two cases of San Miguel Beer. We talked for a bit. He apologized for not being the ideal father for me and my brother. I thought it was the alcohol talking but I told him everything was cool anyway. He hugged me and just like a good TV moment, my two younger half brothers came running toward us and said that we're counting down to the new year in a few minutes. After three days, I flew back to Davao and didn't have the chance to see my father again.

For the past few years my dad has been emailing once in a while, mostly to greet us during birthdays or holidays. He would call once in a while, mostly to give Western Union details, and each telephone conversation would always end with "thank you" and "I love you"-- heartfelt, believe it or not.

But five months ago he stopped communicating with us. And in his recent email he said that he just got his internet connection back, but that does not explain why he hasn't called. I wrote him back and told him that what his almost-thirty-year-old son wanted from him, more than anything, was a father-figure (in terms he would understand, of course). It was quite a long email, a feeling of deja vu while I was writing it. I told him that I am now based in Qatar. I told him updates about my brother. I told him to give me a call, Western Union or no Western Union.

His reply was two lines long with three periods and a question mark. My mention of Qatar did not even seem to matter to him. I gave up analyzing his reply and decided to look on the bright side. At least he's still alive. [I heard his franchise has gone global.]

Basically this entry explains why I love Fight Club. Or maybe I'm just saying that I'm glad I finally heard from my dad. Whichever the reason, I'm still closing this post with another passage from Chuck Palahniuk's debut novel:

The mechanic says, "If you're male and you're Christian and living in America,
your father is your model for God. And if you never know your father, if your

father bails out or dies or is never at home, what do you belive about God?"

I found out that this doesn't apply to American males alone. Whatever, at least He's still alive.OUT

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