Who’s Your Daddy? Soul Dances and Forgiveness

Soul Dances and Forgiveness © 2000 TGregory & Laloba Press

By way of a rather unsettling parenting decision that has nothing to do with my Daddy, I’m driving my 18 year-old son’s car.

jeepIt is a Black Jeep Grand Cherokee decorated with all the gold trim the Chrysler Corporation can apply to one vehicle. (The colors of his alma mater: Sprayberry High School)

My man-child has decorated it with air fresheners hanging from the rearview mirror (at least 12), BIG STEREO and a sticker on the back windshield in the same black and gold that asks, “Who’s Your Daddy?”

whosyourdaddyOstensibly, it stayed on the car because I want my son to think of it as his car, do what he needs to do, and reclaim the car.

And on a lighter note, when I park in a parking lot with a gazillion other black Jeeps – I can spot this one by the sticker, “Who’s Your Daddy?”

One of my ex-husband is undone by the sexual connotation he had to explain to me – I’m presuming (because he said so) that everyone knows that the question is one asked in the throes of passion . . . Who’s Your Daddy? WHO’s Your Daddy? WHO’S YOUR DADDY?

And because of his remarks, I get an inexplicable satisfaction from driving a car that asks.

The fact is my Daddy was a man named Dube (some sort of nickname attributed at different times to a Cherokee word – his grandmother was full blood – and other less noble origins). He was tall: 6’5″, and handsome.

And he was charming.

I never met a man, woman or child that didn’t fall head over heels in love with Dube Arp.

He was witty, and friendly and I lost him in a divorce when I was four. I met him again when I was 20, and we were on top of the world.

We fell in love in an unnatural sense of the word . . . me with the idea that I had a father who was everything and more. He in the sense usually reserved for old fools and younger women.

And at some point I knew that he really didn’t understand that I was his child, not another conquest.

We never spoke of it – after a few failed seduction attempts, I moved out of his life as he had moved from mine. No-one understood but me and I didn’t bother to explain. It didn’t matter, I told myself, it didn’t work, and he was filed away.

He died when my twelve-year-old son was a baby. I had two children he’d never met.

I’ve been unhappy most of my adult life that I didn’t really have a father, but rather a sire. He told me once before I had children, that if he were me and wanted a child, he would find a man with the right qualities and mate, “the same way I handle them Tennessee Walkers, honey. I’d make a baby that was everything I wanted it to be.”

I told him then, and I still believe, that as far as parenting went, his advice sucked.

Ironically, my children are beautiful and smart, and truly? Remind me of him. They are tall, handsome creatures, and occasionally, they put me in the mind of colts.

So whether or not I wanted to carry his legacy, my children carry his genes. And I? I am my father’s daughter – I look like him, walk like him, sometimes I even talk like him. I’m charming and handsome, and people do fall in love with me.

And if, in the Great Soul Dance in the Sky known as reincarnation, we made a pact to act out that bizarre relationship on this plane, his sacrifice was far greater than mine. I have known love and acceptance for who and what I am. And that includes my issues, fears, and skewed perception of reality. And most of all, my ‘Oh, fucking, well’ attitude.

He didn’t have any of that acceptance, or connection, and he died a drunk and a drug abuser trying to forget who he was and where he came from.

The whisper of bourbon and cigarettes will always appeal to me at the most primal level. As will Cowboys, and Indians, of which he was a strange mix; and charming, tall, dark and handsome men.

And now when I see “Who’s Your Daddy?” I understand that satisfaction I get from proclaiming it where ever I go.

My Daddy’s name was Dube. He was tall: 6’5″, and handsome.

And he was charming.

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