“You Think Your Father’s Superman!”

Published June 19, 2012 by Sandee

I used to think that when my dad died, I would die.  There was just something underneath it all between us.  I used to hear him in my inner ear from time to time – while he was still alive.  He was an artist, a very sensitive man.  But he died and I didn’t die – I became more in touch with the beauty of existence, I think partly because I know that was his legacy for me – to live.  I’ve only gone to see his urn twice because he isn’t there – he’s every where, and he’s not really dead.  I wish I could post this really cool picture of him from the early seventies.  He’s at a party sitting between two seventies-looking women with long hair parted down the center.  He wore jeans and he leaned back with his legs crossed — I imagine they might have passed a joint around at some point.  He’s got his head thrown back in laughter.  He’s wearing a beard and slightly messy afro.  He looked like a rock star.

In 2003, he had an arrhythmia and had passed out before they found him.  While he was in a coma a lot of people from disparate ends came together in the hospital, friends, family, students – my mother from whom he was divorced and stepmother were in the same room – even my mother’s sisters were there.

He was a strong influence on me.  At one time I believe I tried to emulate him.  I begged him to let me wear his dungaree jacket that he had embroidered for himself in the early seventies and this African beanie hat that one of his clients had made for him.  I was “Little Joe.”

My father meant to stay with the family until the bitter end but a divorce initiated by my mother was really warranted.  They were just 18 and 22 when they married and though my home life was not tumultuous, they weren’t compatible.  They gave me a brilliant childhood, however.  They were married twenty years.  It was hard for him in the beginning – he felt everyone had turned against him and that he had failed.  He took me to the circus (I was 20 years old) after the divorce – it was melancholy and reminded me of the circus part of Peggy Lee’s song “Is That All There Is.”

He insisted on being in my baby sister’s life and there was no fight from my mom about this.  My dad took her every summer and on weekends and eventually she went to live with him and his second wife.  My parents were civilized about their separation.  My father would precede a minor complaint about my mother with “I hate to talk about her but…”  And if I said anything negative about my mother he said, “Now don’t talk about her like that.”  But my father wasn’t perfect – God knows that!  When I look back I realize that both my parents were adolescents who were growing up with us, and I got some of the best ass-whippings this side of the city!

As an adult on my day off, I called my dad and said, “Let’s go to the beach.”  He came and got me.  He fished and I sun bathed in the sand yards away.  I’d crane my head up to see him in the water up to his thighs, sunglasses on, fishing pole out.  At the end of the day, he gutted fish for me to cook.  It was one of the best days of my life.  When I was in elementary school a little girl yelled at me, “You think you’re father’s Superman!”  Well he wasn’t, but I feel damn lucky to have had him in my life.

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39 comments on ““You Think Your Father’s Superman!”

  • AWWWW………. This is so beautiful …………OMG………..
    You can recall your life so well and with such warmth ……………
    I know You like Death metal …….:) But this is a totally soft beautiful side ……
    I like my Death metal sometimes too -!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Just goes to show how beautiful You are SCB
    Like a bursting heart ……….
    The Radiohead song ——– the guy with the leg vid i still haven’t found it ,………
    But i will …:)
    Here is something for You
    amazing writing
    amazing Life
    amazing heart = You

    xo
    Cat
    PS- i love Thom Yorke
    and I Think it’s because he was so ostrasized as a kid …..
    for his eye stuff that made him the brilliant artist that he is ….
    I don’t think You can have an easy Life – and be an artist …….
    I dunno – what do you think ?

    Beautiful Post
    sending Cake …xoxoxoxo

    • Thanks for all the love Cat! I listened to the first track which I really like — the second one, Paranoid Android came on and I identified it right away as being the cartoon video that I mentioned: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPLEbAVjiLA. It’s such a haunting track. I’m glad you’ve turned me on to all this other Radio Head music. I will indeed check out the rest of the album that you posted. Have a good night…

      • Oh yes, to answer your question about having an easy life as an artist — in many cases I think if you’re trying to get closer to some truth it may be harder for you. It seems like all the good ones suffer — lol!

      • But I love Your writing 🙂 🙂 🙂
        i was just adding a song because that’s my language 🙂 xoxoxoxoxo That’s what i do – nerdy cat
        🙂 Cool i will check it out !!!!!!!!!!!!
        You have to let me know what You listen too – bands artists ……… 🙂 …………
        Have a great Night xx

      • Cat, right now I’m listening to 60s garage music — a group called The Human Zoo’s song The Human Zoo is on right now — The internet station I have on now is Mr. Soul, Buffalo Springfield’s song. But my deathmetal favorites, Celtic Frost, Obliterator, Tangorodrim, Obituary, Mortician — there are sooo many — I’ve got to get with the program with some later groups however…

      • I see this now ——- Your other comment – on artists and suffering – yeah i think you and all the other cool artists out there know whom they are —- totally ——- I guess people suffer in their truth ……..whatever it may be – but it’s reality ……..and the more the artist becomes truly themselves and being themselves and not hiding ……
        then i think it may get easier – i dunno …….
        It’s a totally different world then for e.g.- someone whom is an accountant or something – i dunno ———– i know what i love about true artists ….
        their eccentric natures and sometimes reclusive – so many qualities – i admire …………..
        We are all the same but dif…. and that is so &*^%^*( beautiful ……..
        That’s what makes my heart melt …..xo

      • I will check those bands out 🙂
        Thanks Sandy ……
        Just watched that vid ….
        i had to login to Youtube – “Mature content ” seriously = with all the Violence that is posted without warning – This vid got that ?

        The vid was haunting ….Truly …..
        But in an artistic way

        Not like the other stuff they that people post without warning – !!!!!!!!!!!!
        I am scared for the kids out there ……
        Seriously –
        Night Night ….
        and again great writing xo

  • I can’t imagine having kids so young. As you mention, it’s like adolescents raising children. Sounds like he did a great job under difficult circumstances. Nice tribute.

  • Your dad was awesome. And it sounds like your parents divorce was a lot like mine–very civil and they kept us out of it. I’m dealing with my own father’s aging and health, so this really hit home for me. Thanks.

  • wonderful …It’s important we remember and share those that we love and your Father was well loved by you..I too thought I would die when mine died a few years ago but I knew he would be pissed at me if I gave up o, onward we go..
    Thank you for sharing your Dad with us:-)

  • Sandee, this was so wonderful and your writing is just so great. Wow. Thanks for steering me here. I’m so glad you shared one of the best days of your life. You are a very gifted writer, my friend. :).

    • I’m flattered that you were interested in reading this. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I feel very fortunate to have had that day. I go back to it from time to time and think what a gift it was. Thanks Brigitte — I hope you’re feeling better.

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