Two days before we reunited four years ago his dad died. “Dad died on Tuesday” was one of the first things he said. “Good” I replied. The speech he made at his father’s funeral made me fall instantly and deeply in love with him.
It is also one of the finest pieces of writing I have ever read.
Here it is…
‘Early in my life I naively held a belief that there is some good in everybody. I would always give the benefit of the doubt and assume that someone was simply “having a bad day” or “going through a rough phase” before judging or condemning them. The bitter lesson that I have since learned is that some people are just “arseholes to the core”. These people live to sap joy, confidence and enthusiasm from others. It’s what fuels them.
So what do I do? Make something up or speak up for myself and the others who suffered his company.
Fuck it. I’m going for it.
Dad was a cruel, bitter, hateful misogynist.
If he was ever nice to you it was to lull you into lowering your guard so that the inevitable punch in the face would hit harder.
As a child I simply feared him but as a teenager he served as a solid anti-role model. Yes, he was an inspiration. He was everything I did not want to be.
Poor Dad was incompetent to a level where he was unaware of his incompetence and closed minded enough to not be able to rise above it.
He would constantly denigrate mum and his own “mates”. Long tirades, normally while driving, so I couldn’t escape. His famous words of wisdom? “all women are moles”.
Dad was never wrong about anything and it was not your right to disagree with him, in fact, he was not at all interested in your opinion.
And somehow he still demanded respect for no other reason than “he was my father”. I did not buy this as, by now, in my teens I had encountered far superior male role models. Men who earned respect through their actions.
In typical style, he rode my poor sister into the ground on his way out. Capitalising on her kind nature and perhaps ill conceived sense of duty.
On the up side, he was a good cook and a great skier.
Fuck ‘don’t speak ill of the dead’. If you want people to speak well of you when you are dead behave better when you are alive.
Hell is truth seen too late and the truth will set you free.
“To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we owe only the truth.” – Voltaire.