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The Morning After

That's a song by Maureen McGovern from The Poseidon Adventure. It won an Oscar for Best Song and became a hit the summer after I was born. Much like Eric Cartman from South Park, I know the whole song and can sing it for you any time you'd like to hear my butchered rendition. Mom used to play it so much when I was growing up, I didn't really have much choice but to learn it by heart.

When I was 10, I asked Mom why she listened to it so often, and she told me that if I really listened to the words, I'd find hope in them. The moment I did that, I understood. Mom clung to that song the way I used to cling to my favorite teddy bear - the one with the missing eye and torn ear I'd never let her fix. It was her comfort whenever my father would dole out his "punishment." The mornings he would leave for work and I would have to get myself off to school, I knew it was because he'd been too rough with her the night before. I could hear the muted strains of the song coming from their room, and if I pressed my ear to the door, I could hear Mom crying. She never wanted me to see her cry, so I would leave without saying goodbye. I knew that she would be having a particularly bad day if I still heard the song playing when I came home. On those days, I would go into her room and curl up on the bed next to her. We wouldn't ever talk about it, and we would always be up and have dinner ready before Dad came home.

When I got married, the one thing I insisted on was that the song Mom and I danced to be The Morning After. No one understood why we hadn't chosen a more traditional song for the occasion, and Talia continued to voice her displeasure long after the reception had ended. I never felt the need to explain myself to her, though.

The day Dad died, I left work and rushed home to be with Mom. Dad had suffered a massive coronary while he was changing a light bulb in the hall closet. It had been quick, and no manner of life saving measures would have saved him. He was probably dead before he hit the ground, they said. When I arrived at the house, the coroner had just left, and Mom was sitting in the living room, a glass of Dad's favorite scotch in her hand. She asked me to play that song for her, and for the first time in my life, when I looked at her face as it played, I saw hope.
porter_inc: (cappucino)
[locked to Orlando]

Kevin's clean.

I contacted the detective who'd interviewed me after the shooting and told him my concerns about the attack. He said that he would contact the doctors who tested Kevin when he was taken to prison and try to let me know if I have anything to be worried about. We can't let anyone know that they told him, but he said he wanted to ease my mind. I guess that means that we just have to get tested to be sure and then... Well, you know. :-)

[/locked]

I called the woman claiming to be my sister. What convinced me to do it was an old letter Mom found among Dad's papers where some woman told him about her children missing their daddy. Mom told me that he'd received the letter about two years after she and Dad had gotten married but had told her that the woman was the widow of an old friend. She never questioned it until I showed her the letter I received and the woman said who her mother was. It was the same lady who'd sent my dad that letter all those years ago. It's not definitive proof, by any means, but it's a hell of a coincidence.

Anyway, I called the woman (Evelyn Harper, 34 of Los Angeles) and told her I'd be willing to take a DNA test. She told me how her mother had passed away in March of this year and it was after her death that she found out who her and her brother's real father was. She was in the process of trying to find him when she started seeing things about me in the papers and one article did a background feature and mentioned my parents. She said we have the same eyes and that's what made her write me. Now, that's weird, because I was always told I have my Uncle John's eyes and he was Mom's brother. I guess Dad had some hidden blue-eyed gene or something. I would laugh so hard if he had a gay brother, too, and that's why he was so afraid for me to turn out queer. Anyway, I should stop rambling.

Everything's still sort of a jumbled mess in my head right now, but here's what I know:

Cynthia Harper met my dad in 1968 when he was stationed at Fort Bliss. They never married and Dad refused to let their children have his name. They had a son together, Tobias Charles Harper, who was born on September 17, 1969. Evelyn Rose Harper was born on May 20, 1972. Charles, as he prefers to be called, lives in Austin, Texas, works for a bank(!) and is married with three children - two boys, ages 6 and 2, and one girl, age 4. Charles wants nothing to do with the search or with me and, apparently, he looks very much like Dad. Evelyn lives in L.A., works as a casting director, is single with no children.

The thing that I can't get over is the fact that Evie was just shy of seven months old and Charles was 3 when Dad married Mom. How could he do that? Even if he didn't know about her, he knew damn well he had a son. And how could he ignore the letter he received, knowing he had, by that time, a two year-old daughter and a five year-old son who needed their father? I suppose I've already decided that she's telling the truth, but the test will let us know for sure. Mom said that no matter what the results are, she still wants to get to know this woman, and if Charles changes his mind, him too. She wasn't angry with me or Cynthia (Evie's mom) or Evelyn or Charles. She's not upset that Dad had another family he didn't tell her about, because she'd always had her suspicions. She's angry with Dad for abandoning his children.

I love my mother so much.

And I just might have an older brother and sister.
porter_inc: (cappucino)
I can't believe I forgot it's Good Friday. But considering the whole Lent thing went unnoticed, I shouldn't be surprised. Easter is Sunday! Jesus, I'm an awful Catholic - again, not surprised. I was discussing this with Kev, last night, and told him that I just can't take the pride in my religion that he takes in his. So much of the church is connected to my dad, in my mind. They hate who I am. He'd hate who I am. I remember him getting pissed off and hitting me or my mom as we're getting ready to leave for Sunday mass. He'd force me onto my knees almost every night to pray that I didn't end up a pathetic queer. He'd rather see me dead, he'd say, while I'm praying. He was a hypocrite, and the church is full of hypocrisy and pretty much left me cold from the minute I could understand that. But I shouldn't have forgotten Good Friday. I want to believe there was a Jesus who told us to love one another and try to be good people.

cut for length )
porter_inc: (fic)
[OOC: Once Will is granted posting access to [livejournal.com profile] theatrical_muse, this will be posted there. However, I wanted to post it in his journal before too much more time passed.]

Write about your father. )

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