Thursday, March 24, 2011
There is no 'I' in Daddy
Well, I suppose a kind of perverse congratulations is in order, Bub. You have, in just under two months of battle, managed to erode my former persona one idiosyncrasy at a time and reduce me to a mundane muddled mess of a doppelganger known to the plebes simply as Daddy.
Who was this ‘I’ anyway? People shall speak of him one day in hushed voices around burning vigils. Or not. Daddy seems to remember snippets of this singular, first-person pronoun. Fleeting images of lush disc golf fairways are quickly gnashed, gnawed and spit up in the toothless grind of Baby.
Maybe it’s a self-defense mechanism to ease the pain. Daddy is third person, safe, removed, anonymous—like a sitcom character you can laugh and belittle from an alternate-reality distance. If this ‘I’ person (let’s call him Josh) were to in real life sanitize breast pump parts and wash spit-up-stained couch covers all day, he might very well go insane. So by creating this Daddy persona, Josh is saving himself by destroying himself. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Either way, it’s very Fight Club, and way too cerebral for Daddy. Daddy just wants a nap.
Radiohead has a great song “Where I End and You Begin.” ‘The sky turns grey (hey, they’re British) where I end and you (Daddy) begin.’ The problem is Daddy got greedy. Daddy diversified. No longer satisfied with endless bottle maintenance and Diaper Genie disposal, Daddy started watching Sportscenter. Daddy started brewing beer and smoking pork shoulders. Like an efficient conqueror, Daddy firmly entrenched himself as an ally and then began the systematic decimation of the peoples formerly known as Josh. I heard they were a peaceful, fun-loving lot.
But in the end, memories are really all we have, aren’t they? We spend a lot of money on memory cards and camcorders and blueberries trying not to forget. In Lost Highway, Bill Pullman said he liked to remember things the way he remembered them, not necessarily the way they happened. Daddy likes this philosophy, and it’s how he chooses to remember the “peaceful and willing surrender” of the Josh people. So when you speak of them one day in hushed voices around burning vigils, please speak kindly.