Our pool was green growing up. My dad said that chlorine wasn’t healthy for the skin. But really there wasn’t any money left to pay for a pool guy. We were all living off of my murdered mother’s inheritance. My dad was basically a kid just like me and my brother. He never worked like other dads did and was always home. He was either watching TV, having sex with whomever, or at the typewriter retyping W.B. Yeats poems and other writers’ work that he liked when he was younger. My dad was tall and strong and opened up soup and Chef Boyardee Ravioli cans and other bottles that were hard to open. I still have a hard time opening up things because I would never even try when I was younger. I had no desire to learn. I didn’t need to feel accomplished that way. I’d always go straight to my dad. Well, not when he was upstairs having sex with whomever. I knew not to interrupt and ask him to open up a soup can. If he was preoccupied like that, I’d then go to my older brother and ask him to open up the soup can. The worst would be if my dad was having sex with somebody AND my brother would be in the garage (which was his bedroom), and he’d be in there with his girlfriend having sex presumably. Then, I’d just have cereal.
I wonder why I never wanted to learn how to open up a soup can. Even in high school when I knew I was fully capable, I still would ask my dad to open up soup cans. But those little things were how my dad was a dad to me. My brother would call me weak and even my dad too. They said I needed to go to the gym and work on my shoulders. I needed to lift weights and not just run on the treadmill.
I don’t think they understood and neither did I. At the time, I just assumed they were right and that I was really too weak and had poor upper body strength. But now I see it as I was just longing for any action that made me feel taken care of. I didn’t want to open up my soup can. I wanted my dad to do it. That’s what father’s do, right?
Today, I still avoid soup cans. If they’re in a plastic container that the grocery store personally made, then that’s the soup I’m eating.