Tuesday, March 01, 2005

mia papa

So my dad has pulled into town on his motorbike. He lives in a teensy little town, Hanover, in the middle of the Karoo [desert], and has travelled 8 hours on a bike to stay for a while. I don’t see my pops often, perhaps once a year. He makes eccentric people look dull. Coming to the Big City just accentuates this.

It’s always funny to watch him:
- Hit the deck when he hears cop sirens
- Walk around posh places in his Crocodile Dundee hat
- Think its ok to walk in Joburg. Nobody walks here. He’ll happily meander 20 kms through suburbs on foot
- Take out his map at every intersection to find his bearings

Truth is, I’m very worried about my dad. He says he’s happy, but I can see he’s not. He’s broken up with his long-term girlfriend, but doesn’t say much about it. He is looking thin and tired. He smokes very foul-smelling cigarettes – the kind where the tobacco was grown on the back-end of a crapper in rural Zimbabwe. He’s a proud man though, so would never admit to anything.

He hasn’t walked into a department store for years, I doubt he even knows his size. Today, I’m going shopping for him and buying him some much needed new threads!
Also a carton of Marlboros, if you can stand the irony. (He grounded me for an entire month when he caught me puffing behind the tool shed when I was 14.)

I want him to stay longer in JHB. He says he needs to get back to Hanover to work. I want to feed him up and get him to relax a bit. How do I get him to stay?
Bribe him with cigarettes? Make him roast lamb every night?
He’s an elusive soul, so getting him to stay after the weekend is going to be hard work.


Two | Face said...

Wow really kewl to see how you feel about your dad, I envy you in a way.

The post reminds me a lot of the Mediterranean Culture where the children take care of theire parents later on in life.

It's very admirable the way you care for him and I hope you can persuade him not only for him but also for you!

Peas on Toast said...

It's funny how you say that. Just last night, while he was smoking that crap from Zimbabwe, he was stressing about something and I said, "Dad you need to laugh it off. Dont let it get to you." and he said, "Teach your parents well."

I just hope I can! :)

Two | Face said...

Well I can imagine you know yourself well enough to answer that one for yourself as well.

Blog ho said...

If I had a daughter...wait that's going nowhere.

Perhaps you tell him you'd like him to stick around?

Peas on Toast said...

Oh Ho. I can't believe I didn't think about that myself. Perhaps....I'll just ask him.

Ta old chap :)

Ed Abbey said...

You have a gift of writing so I say use it. Write something about your father and give it to him. Even if he doesn't stay, I'm sure he'll keep it and refer to it often. Maybe even come back more often. The brief few paragraphs you have written have enormous potential.

Peas on Toast said...

Thanks Ed! *blush* I could do that actually. I've often wanted to write a story on my father to be honest, because he is so different. I just haven't done it because there never seemed to be a call for it. So maybe this is my calling? :)

Stephanie said...

I'm with Ed. :) Even if he doesn't stay, he will know how you feel and maybe will make more of an effort to keep in touch.

What you have written shows what a thoughtful and caring person you are. Your ex didn't deserve you!


Binsk said...

Wow, he sounds like quite an interesting man.

And lamb every night would make me stay!!

Peas on Toast said...

Steph - thanks honey! I dont quite know what to dow ith all these [very flattering] comments. Last night I actually got my pen and paper out and wronte him a massice letter-cum-story. Was good to let it all out. Hope he likes it!

Robin - I learnt how to make a lamb yesterday. Let's hope it works! :)