Sometimes I miss my father. I miss sitting out on the picnic table and listening to his stories over the clinking of the icecubes in my pink lemonade. He would be wearing a cheesy apron and drinking from a sweaty bottle of beer while he flipped burgers on the BBQ. He would tell me the best stories about all the dogs he had on the farm as a kid, every one of them named Bob, and how all the Bobs were jealous of his pony, which he rode every day until he outgrew it. He would tell me about meeting my mother, and how quickly he fell in love with her, and how the same would happen to me one day because my eyes are just as pretty as hers.
When I was little, I wanted to be just like him. I wanted to ride my bike as fast as he did. I wanted to drive the car with one hand on the wheel and the other out the rolled-down window, drumming away to the Beach Boys on the radio. I wanted to be tall, and sure of myself, and smile easily, just like him.
I wish I had him here, to feel his love, to feel his hug, to feel the tickle of his beard and the calluses on his hands. I miss my father, but not my father. I miss a father, the idea of a father, this imaginary father that I have concocted in my head. That's who I miss. I miss the man who knows my middle name, who knows that I don't like strawberries, or cats, or math.
I missed having a father to watch me graduate, to see me get married, to visit me while I'm in the hospital having another surgery. Or even just to know my current address, my general whereabouts, or even whether I'm still alive.
How can you miss someone that never existed?
(part 2 follows right below)