Sunday, March 14, 2010

Family Dinner

My dad recently got a job in South Carolina and is leaving on Tuesday. He could have retired a long time ago, but I think he gets bored staying at home. It must be nice to work because you want to rather than because you have to.


My sister wanted to have dinner as a family before he left so Randy and I went over to the house. As usual, she and Chatchi prepared a mini feast: steak, crab, and clams.




I’m still not used to eating together as a family. We never did that sort of thing when I was growing up. The fact that my dad and I are still estranged just added to awkwardness.

My sister has been trying for 10 years to get my dad and me to get along again. She has made some progress. She’s gotten me to say hi to my dad when I go to the house and he actually acknowledges my existence these days.

Last month he spoke to me for the first time in 13 years. I had gone to the house without Randy for the first time in a long time. My dad walked up to me and asked where Randy was. I was so caught off guard by the question it took me a couple of seconds to realize he was actually talking to me. I told him that Randy was still at work and he would be by later. We stood next to each other in silence for a moment while I tried to think of something else to say to him. I was drawing a blank. After a few more seconds of the awkward silence he walked away and we haven’t spoken since.

After dinner my dad went about the process of opening up a durian for us to eat. I was still in the documenting mood so I got up to take pictures of my dad prying open the spiky fruit. It was the first time I’ve ever taken a picture of my dad. He never said a word or looked at me while I snapped away, but it still felt like the most intimate moment we've shared in 25 years.

Daddy and the Durian

I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to the way we were, but I am content with where we are.

NOTE: all photos were shot and edited on my iPhone with the Photoshop ap.

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