Saturday, June 15, 2013

Bunch of Songs my Father (1945-2013) Would've Liked, I guess. Part I: Intro

For the list of Songs [Part II] click here.

On Monday, June 10, 2013, my father died. My sister had left me a voicemail on my cell, but, I first heard the news -- I guess to be punished for having my cell shut off -- via Facebook. My cousin had sent me a message on Facebook in English, she is American, expressing her sorrow and condolences for my loss. I was flabbergasted. I managed to reply in two lines:

I did not know this news. Thanks for telling me.
Well, I appreciate your kind words. I love you too.
[My Name]

After more than two years of struggling with cancer, father died in his home in Tehran, in his bedroom, on his bed.  I have not been in Iran for several years now. And I was not in Iran when he underwent the many chemotherapy sessions, the many surgeries, the many autopsies, the many periods of panic and despair. I was never there in his home.

Actually, for the last two years of his life, I did not talk to him on the phone either. I boycotted him a little while after I came out of the closet and I told him about it. It was during the Persian New Year period (Nowroz or Nouroz). It was also six months after he was diagnosed with cancer, and had a surgery, and underwent chemotherapy and doctors apparently had told him he was going to be all right. At least, that was what I was told:"Cancer has recessed."

I sent him two emails telling him about my coming out. He was  shocked. He was embarrassed. He panicked. He and my mother were both worried what the relatives (we have many relatives) would think. They did not want their brothers, sisters, cousins, ... hear about my same-sex inclinations. Just your typical Iranian parents.

And, among all the responses I received from my father, one was: "I am struggling with this cancer and you are doing this to me."  I replied, "But you said cancer is gone." He said,"No it has come back." I don't know what he wanted to achieve by flaunting his malignant cancer.  Probably he wanted to arouse my sympathies,to make me feel ashamed for having disturbed a sick man, in hopes of my taking back what I had told him.

What would you do? What would anyone do? What the fuck would anyone do?

Regardless of what was going on in my brain that lead to my coming out to my family, I want to know if it is fair to pressure one's child via one's sickness? Is it fucking fair? Well, no parents is taught how to deal with their kids' coming out. That much I know. That much I understand.

When I came out of the closet to him, he reacted in a confused way  -- and what I had dreaded most came true: He did not accept the truth. I told him to educate himself, I send him an article in English -- because he knew English! He decided to tell me to study Quran in hopes of my reversal. I asked him to visit the therapist whom I used to visit regularly when I was in Tehran, because that therapist had told me first time in my life having such desires is ok. I was sure that the therapist could explain to him exactly what was going on. He said ok, but I knew he would never do so. He was a stubborn man. He was famous for it. I'd like to think he was an asshole.

When he told me to study Quran so maybe fear of God could change my coming out, in my agitated mind, I realized he was totally out of all options and had no idea how to react properly. I was sorry for putting him in that position, but I was not really sorry. He was my father and had to know this shit.

My coming out just complicated my already strained relationship with my parents, so, to prevent my sanity from sinking further down the drain, I told my parents to either treat me with respect and understanding, or there would be no communication. So, there was no direct communication between us.

Now, as in this moment, when I think about my boycotting him upon his reaction to me,  I feel no regret. None at all. I just wish the tolerance and love he always preached others was meant for me too.  Do not take me wrong, he was the most sociable, affable person I have seen in my life. He never wanted to harm anyone. Never I remember him badmouthing anyone (well, except one time badmouthing a snub asshole and another time a couple of thieves). He was a good man. And I loved him. And I miss him. The thought of him not being around telling jokes and farting loudly and laughing wholeheartedly and smoking and drinking and being funny and hugging people and reading newspapers and getting excited at new things and watching Football on TV hurts me./

I have compiled a list of songs I guess he listened to on the radio and liked when he was younger -- much younger. For the list of Songs [Part II] click here.

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