|Dinner With Jack
||[Sep. 2nd, 2005|03:25 pm]
Honorary Gay Man
|||||Guster--Jesus On The Radio||]|
Sorry I didn't update last night or the night before. I was just tired and had other things to do and yadda yadda yadda.
But about dinner with Jack:
We got to his house, which is in the next county over so it was about a 45 minute drive, and he was still busy cooking. So Ron and I sat on the couch in the living room and were just like, "um...okay...what do we do?" Ron made us stop at a Kroger on the way there so we could pick up a cake for desert. I didn't understand the need to do that, but Ron said that Jack was from the same generation as he is so he was sure he'd apprecate it. Which, I'm glad to say, he did.
Anyway, so we're sitting on the couch kinda twiddling our thumbs when I notice a picture frame with a picture of my dad in it on the mantel. I thought this was kind of odd. I mean, Jack said they were friends, but...I don't know...it just seemed weird. So I stood up and had a closer look at it, and when I did I saw there was a smaller frame behind it with another picture of my dad. I picked that one up and noticed that Jack was in the picture, with his arm around my father. This freaked me out. I showed the picture to Ron and Ron was like, "Ask him about it" but I couldn't...it was too akward.
So we finally sat down to dinner and Ron and Jack were talking about Ron's resturant and random stuff and I was just sitting there boilling with questions until finally I just blurted out: "How did you know my dad? I mean, really? I need to know."
Jack sighed, put his hands to his face and removed his glasses and rubbed his eyes. And then he said, "I saw you looking at the pictures on the mantel. What do you think they mean?"
And I replied, "I haven't a clue...that's why I'm here." I was getting a bit angry and Ron put his hand on my leg to try and calm me down.
Jack then said, "Think about it Tyler. Why would a friend keep a picture of their dead friend this long in their house? Why would a man keep a picture of another man in his house?" He paused and then said, "It's so obviouse you just don't see it."
I just sat there with my head down looking at my plate of food. It just couldn't be what he was getting at...could it?
Ron then spoke up: "You were lovers, weren't you?" Ron always has a knack of being blunt when I can't find words.
And Jack said, "Yes we were," so calmly it almost didn't register.
I looked up from the table, with tears in my eyes and said, "My dad was gay?" They weren't tears 'cause I was upset. They were tears at the fact that I never knew this about my dad, and if I had......what would have happened?
"Does that upset you?" Jack asked me. I shook my head no. I said it explained a lot of things from my past. Then something clicked in my head: the cancer, mom taking him aways when he was dying, never seeing him after he left. I finally said, "He had AIDS and you took care of him."
My dad died of the same thing that will one day kill me.
We talked for over 2 hours that night. I discovered a lot of things that night about my dad. And my mom for that matter. My dad was so distraught about being gay he tried to cure himself by marrying my mother and having children. But he couldn't "resist his temptations" as he called them. He was "with" Jack, but it was on again/off again, and during the off peirods he would go and do annonoymus things with annonoymus people. That's how he contracted the virus.
When it was obviouse he was sick mom didn't want him in the house. It was the '80s after all and no one really, truely knew how you got AIDS, and mom was afraid he'd give it to us kids. He also confided in her the way he contracted the disease and about his relationship with Jack (which was at this time back on).
She kicked him out of the house.
He went to Jack's where he staied until he died. Jack told me he was a broken man because he couldn't see his kids. He felt that god was punishing him for all the sins he'd commited.
Jack tried to persuade my dad that this wasn't true. That they weren't sinning. But my dad just didn't want to hear it I guess.
I don't know what else to say right now. Typing this all out just made it so much more real to me.
To know my dad was so tourtured by his feelings and by the things he did...the things I do every day and don't think anything of...just kills me inside.
I wish I could talk to him right now. I wish he could see me and know that it's okay.