A Little Bit of Me

Jottings and Writing, miscellanous misgivings

Dads taken to wearing frocks

5DdUEXAmGOS46gM40epDNwDads taken to wearing frocks.  His current number is in orange taffeta. He’s wearing cycle pants underneath and he has this scarf thing around his head. He’s also growing his hair long. After sixty-five years of being the most uptight, right winged, straightlaced, paragon of society, he has broken out. He’s also started to experiment with marijuana. He calls it marywhoannah, after he saw this tight-lipped English psychologist on television saying it was harmless and that if more people smoked marywhoannah than drunk, we would live in a safer land. He was also swayed by a distinguished lady of about his own age who had the occasional toke from time to time and was campaigning for legalization. Dads also taken up with Felicity, my best friend. Felicity and I go back a long way. We went through school together, and anyone who went to a rural school in redneck country will know how someone who breaks the mould stands out. Right from the primers, Felicity was different. Her mother raised her by herself and she insisted that Felicity shouldn’t be deprived because she lived in the wopwaps. She was sent to ballet twice a week at the nearest city. Her mother took her to all the plays that came, she was surrounded by artistic things. And she was taught to think for herself. Felicity eventually left New Zealand and I had lost touch with her but a couple of years back she came back home and we caught up and resumed our friendship. It was about that time that Mum and Dad sold the family home and moved into a retirement village. Then Mum gradually succumbed to Alzheimers and Dad just moped about, it looked like he was going to quietly go himself. Felicity had accompanied me on a couple of visits and then I found out that she had also been going to see Dad on her own. Next thing you know Dad tells me that he is moving back into town and that he is discovering himself.

They are both up there on the rostrum now. Dads dressed in that rig and Felicity is by his side. She’s a tall willowy blonde. She wears lots of purple. She’s got on this leotard thing, it really shows off her figure, and she’s obviously enthralled by Dad. Is he wearing makeup? I close my eyes and hope that not too many of the audience know of the connection between him and me. Its great that your Dad is finally happy, but I wish that he could have done it in a less conspicuous way. And without involving my best friend. He’s explaining some complicated exercise that you do that involved running up a wall and having darts thrown at you but I have filtered the details out as I hide my head in my hands when he does this backflip and his bicycle pants ride up and he lands with the frock all around his head.

The audience are in rapture. He’s now moved on to telling about the exotic places that people need to explore. He’s talking about New Orleans and to my horror, he picks me out of the audience to tell everybody about the charms oft he culture, food, music, and writing. I had spent a couple of years living in New Orleans when I finished University and had become smitten with it. The elegant blend of French, Spanish, and American influences opened up America to me. I had previously thought of America as dull and conservative but New Orleans charmed me then and still does. Felicity had also spent time there and obviously shares in Dads enthusiasm.

Dad tells me its due to the fact that he has been spiritualy deprived. He says men have to provide and they have no time for fun, to discover their true inner self.

“Your mother put me in a  box marked ‘PROVIDER’ and I spent all my life making her and your life comfortable.”

Funny thing is I don’t remember it that way. He was an autocrat. We lived in terror of him coming home after work, grumpy and often drunk.

“I still have a good decade left in me and I plan to enjoy it. This marywhoannah is greatr and its taught me that you have to focus on your own true inner self. Felice has really helped me open up.”

For a sickening moment I imagined them in bed together. Him slobbering all over Felicity and her screaming some New Age incantation. I shuddered just as Dad started a rant about boats. Was he actually encouraging this audience of decidedly rickety old people to sell up and invest in a boat and sail the South Pacific? Were they actually clapping and squirming excitedely in their plastic moulded seats? Was I missing something here? Felicity donned a pair of serious looking glasses, and, peering over the rims of the lenses, gave instructions on how to facilitate all that her and Malcom (Malcom?) had been talking about. If I had called Dad ‘Malcolm’ he would have ignored me for a year!

I ask Felicity what the attraction is.

“When he looks into my eyes I feel as though I am the only thing in his world. He makes me feel special, unique. There are only a few people in this world who can do that.”

“I think he is a deeply flawed man. He ignored his wife and family for decades.”

“ Yes. There is that. I am also inexplicably attracted to deeply flawed men. Just look at my track record.”


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