The Complete and Total Loser's father is slipping physically and cognitively. No fun to see. On the phone he talks to people and refers to them in the second person. He says "Goodbye dear" to men and denies saying it after the call is completed. He has trouble getting around the house, even though there are just a few steps to navigate.
Most worrisome of all, he's barely eating.
On the interesting side, his mind at times reels back to events and times he's never mentioned before and the Loser doesn't have to hear the old saws about the Civil War and prostate cancer.
Today, the Loser's father told of a man he'd known in high school who, five years ago, told the Loser's father that he (the Loser's father) hadn't fulfilled the promise he's shown in high school.
|The Loser and his father, 1971.|
The Loser has two problems with this. One, he'd never heard of this man before today, so how well could the man have possibly known his father? The Loser's father has, by all accounts, had an enormously successful life. A great house in the suburbs, a loyal wife, and two of his three sons are successful and have had grandchildren who are happy, healthy people. None of his offspring has committed a crime or had a serious addiction problem of any kind. Even the least of his sons (the Loser) has never asked him for money, and all three visit or communicate with him regularly.
The Loser's father survived World War Two, had no seriously long periods of unemployment and has traveled to places that as a child were as remote to him as the moon (China).
The second problem the Loser has with this is that his father doesn't see what a mean thing it was for someone to say. The Loser's father says, "It wasn't bad of him. He was being honest!" It took the Loser long minutes to get his father to see that those who say things that can't possibly benefit those who hear them or anyone in any way are not doing a good thing in any way. If it does no good to say something, why say it?