As a child, I had dreams of Superman. I valued his morals and envied his strength. I thought the world of him. In many ways, he took the place of my father. I always abhorred the latter for not being strong enough, brave enough or even honest enough. He was never around for the big stuff. He was always out working. His politics paid for my education, the roof above my head and the food in my gut but in no way did it afford him my love. Money does not raise a child, a father does and I was determined that the greatest power in the universe was to be my new father.
My coming out to him was a sign, at least to me, of respect. I probably wanted to tell him first because on some level, I blamed him for how I turned out. Needless to say, he didn’t take it well. He called me names, even tried to hit me a few times. He would always stop right before his fist hit my face. He punched the walls, screaming in a voice I had never heard him use before and in a language that seemed of a different world. Resigned, he cursed the heavens for what happened to his only son. He looked at me with the eyes of an animal. I had never been so delighted and terrified at the same time.
My lover Grey greeted the problem with a response that was equal parts ambitious and arrogant. Elope, he said. Fuck him. Fuck them all. He put his lips around his middle finger. His spit glistened in the distant moonlight. With a child’s attention to detail, he raised his finger towards an imagined figure of my father and mouthed a subtle fuck you.
But not after I fuck you first, he added as he pulled me under the covers.
But there would be no need to run away. Days later, the fates decided to throw us a bone. I went to my father’s office one afternoon to talk to him. It was his sanctuary, his Fortress of Solitude if you must. Using the key that he kept hidden in one of the building’s many crevices, I unlocked the door to find him naked and in the arms of Luther, his childhood best friend and longtime business partner. I hid behind the door, quiet as a mouse, listening to him moan as another man took him from behind.
Now tell me, who’s the disgrace now?
That night, I stayed up to watch him creep into our house. It was past midnight when he finally came home.
Long night? I asked. He dismissed my statement and went up to his bedroom. Outside, a lonely dog was howling a lullaby. You know, you and I, we’re not so different. I added, right as he closed his bedroom door.
Superman was not the greatest power in the universe. Denial was stronger and like glue, it put together what the truth was trying to take apart.
Father, come out, I said to him, even though I knew he could not hear me. This cross is ours to bear now. There is no one left to blame.
Photo Credit: grapesfrappe
Original Post: continuing the straight path