Is Dad in the Mafia?
Dear Dad in 1990,
I'm 11 years old and you and mom have just gotten a divorce. Ellen DeGenres has not yet come out and Rosie O'Donnell is supposedly in love with Tom Cruise. No one has told me the reason for the divorce, just that if I knew what you did that I would hate you for the rest of my life.
I try to imagine what you did. I think you could be in the mafia, because you wear a lot of gold rings with diamonds. Sometimes you slick your dark brown hair back with tons of hairspray and wear long wool coats with black gloves.
Or maybe you stole toys, because you are a manager of a toy store and though you don't make much money, we have huge Christmases. I owned 8 Cabbage Patch Kids at one point. Maybe the FBI finally caught on to you and mom didn't want to be a part of it anymore. Maybe that is why she took us from South Carolina in the middle of the night without telling you and moved us to Texas.
I have decided, even if you are in the mafia or stole toys, I will still love you and visit you in prison.
I am not upset that you and mom divorced. I realize that while you may have loved each other, you are somehow not right for each other.
The first time I visited you and your roommate Dale, you said that you two share a bedroom, so that I can have my own room. But now you live in a three bedroom apartment so it doesn't make sense anymore. You say the third bedroom belongs to Furman and Puddles, your blonde Cocker Spaniels, but they rarely sleep in there.
I am starting to think there is something more to your relationship with Dale. But I don't know what it is. I didn't know men could love other men, the way you love Dale. Until that day I came home and saw you sitting alone, crying, listening to Luther Vandross. You told me you and Dale got into a fight. I was confused because even I, a teenage girl, do not listen to slow jams after a fight with my friends.
It will take me three years to realize fully that you are not in the mafia, you did not get caught stealing toys, but that you are gay. I wish that you would just tell me, but I know that at this time, there are no words or ways to explain. Also, I'm sure you may feel that, just like everyone else did, that I might hate you for the rest of my life. But for me, that would be impossible because loving you has been synonymous with breathing, my entire life.
When I eventually come to live with you and Dale, it will be the happiest time in my life. Because I will feel the love in our home every day. I will see the way you look at him and know what love between two people can be. I wish you wouldn't worry what I think, or anyone else. I wish you would trust me and try to tell me so that I wouldn't have to put the pieces together on my own.
I guess I wish you lived in a world where you didn't have to be ashamed or lie or worry. Maybe someday, maybe in the year 2015!!