my father my milk

Posted on May 21, 2009


while as i said before i was cut from my mother’s backbone it was left to my father to shape my gullible mind, and that’s the truth. every human is a singularity out there with infinite space around & infinite depth beneath. as a child i knew that and i didn’t because black hole awareness anticipates death and that’s where fear lives.

nobody was ever more afraid of death than my father. he was a collector and a casanova. he returned from scavenger hunts with gold watches, rings, precious books, and feathers of exotic birds. they were tossed on shelves, hung from the ceiling and buried in small caves whose mounds magically opened taking the oblation and closing forever. he returned from his sexual exploits with stories of women, one for each finger of his hand – and i kept count for him when the tales were good. then i would also remember names. the penalty for bad stories was obliteration by memory loss.

he also was a surgeon, a shaman, and a greyhound. although a sprinter in his youth and loved running, he did not require extensive exercise and called himself a cultured couch potato. as a doctor, he loved each patient and included him in his prayers. having grown up as an ardent catholic, he had turned into humanistic marxist material so that these prayers did not come out the classic way though classy they were. i imagine in his head they went something like this:

“dear god, i dont think you exist, or if you do,  you should have done something for me when i asked. you don’t seem to want to ease the burden of the masses, and when i am out of luck, i dont see you ship in either. your church is a disgrace and your footprints on earth are filled with blood. you feeble allmighty. why did you let my father die by accident and how come my dick isn’t longer? i know i am having this conversation with myself in my own thick head but it doesnt matter. so whether you exist or not do something not for me but for this poor sod on the operating table here. let him wake up and get better, for all our sakes and for his childrens’, thank you, oh lord who i most fervently do not believe in and never will as long as i live, see you later maybe.”

my father loved tangerine dreams. he drew colours from the air and let me in on the secret of life, which can be found in a bunch of strangers who suddenly become a bubbling cauldron of creativity and sharing. he wrote poems, some good some bad but they were passionate and his. he loved to read them out loud & his voice did not waver. he was a poetic dinosaur shedding tears for bards long gone. i keep one of these tears in a flask by my bed.

he never liked that i joined the corp he thought business bloodless and bloodlusting both. but he taught me how to throw a bow tie round one’s neck like taming a snake. when i began to write he got excited and scared, too, which wasn’t like him at all but i understood. words are scary creatures, poop of divine making, weapons of mass delusion.

when my father died, many people said nice things about him & they wore dark colours, black mostly & they played sad music which he wouldnt have liked and they had his deathmask taken which looked lifeless & not like him at all. when they were gone, i named a star after him which seemed suitable given that he needed to continue dishing it out to god.

when my dad died he became my father & he was a daddy because i was his son & a husband to my mother of many years, who also lives among the stars & he had grown down finally & firmly rooted himself in my soil & he gave me mother’s milk as good as any.

© 2009 finnegan flawnt — with substantial help from the gods and various good-natured ancestors, on ascension which is father’s day in germany.

later version published in ‘BULL – fiction for thinking men’