Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Whenever I read a good book, like...

...Father's Day, by Buzz Bissinger, I try to select a passage that shows why I liked it and why I would recommend it. Father's Day was not always an easy book to read; Bissinger is an angry guy with a lot -- a lot -- of issues himself, including mild bipolar disorder. But I tried to identify something that would reflect the overall tone of the book. I thought I'd bookmarked the following paragraph, but upon rereading it I wasn't so sure. I'd lent the book to my wife and called upstairs to her:



I repeated the question.


A likely story.

If this isn't the original paragraph, it should still give you some idea of what the book (and Bissinger) is like (my emphasis):

The events of yesterday have not subsided. My mood. My meltdown. My ambivalence in being with my son. My unexpected resurrection from the pit of frustration because of him. It continues to be a muddle. Zach, despite his limits, has been steady and true, while I have been volatile and inconsistent. I am volatile and inconsistent. But I thought I would do better, hold my feelings in check for my son. I also realize all too well what this behavior signifies beyond my intrinsic personality. I am not at peace with my son. I am still not at peace with how he came into the world and what he became because of it. I don't know if I ever will be and I do what I do when in conflict -- take it out on someone else, too often someone I love. My sniper attack.

And then there's this final paragraph of the book:

There is no rose-colored ending to any of this. There is no pretty little package with a tidy bow. He will never drive a car. He will never marry. He will never have children. I still fear for his future. I still think of him sitting alone one day under a naked bulb in the freezing light. He is not the child I wanted. But he is no longer a child anyway. He is a man, the most fearless I have ever known, friendly, funny, freaky, unfathomable, forgiving, fantastic, restoring the faith of a father in all that can be.

I can relate.

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