In Control

I’m taking a red-eye to New York tonight to visit my dad for the weekend. It’s going to be fine, I guess. I’ll spend a lot of time with middle-aged Italian-Americans in the East Village and Queens and try very hard not to unconsciously imitate their accents. Between Dad’s taste in restaurant and his own cooking I will indubitably eat very well. I will probably watch a lot of TV.

The past, oh, ten years or so I’ve visited my dad about one weekend a year out of some sense of daughterly duty, and that’s usually how it goes. Maybe we’ll have a family get together and maybe we’ll go on a short trip upstate, and maybe we’ll go to Dean and Deluca (last year I got to meet Georgio Deluca, which was pretty weird). These weekends are usually pretty quiet and I usually just sort of go and do them and come home and get on with my life and don’t think about it much until it’s time for another visit.

This weekend is different though because I have an ulterior motive, and that is to further the Top Secret Plans. My dad has to help me with a certain aspect of the Plans, and if he can’t or won’t or whatever then the Plans end right here, this week, and I will have to think of something else. I haven’t been able to get a good read on whether he’ll help me; the times we’ve discussed it he’s been pro-Plans about fifty percent of the time, pro-helping-me-with-the-plans about half that. In my fondest fantasies I just get what I need from him with no problems or drama or anything and we spend the rest of the weekend eating Italian ices in the Village and I get to do a lot more work when I get back to Seattle, which I would and will do with no complaint whatsoever because it will mean that the main sticking point of the Plans has been overcome and that they really will be within my reach. I don’t think it’s going to be that easy, though.

I would be writing here for a thousand years if I got into why my father might or might not decide to help me with this, so I will just say that it’s one thing to have something you really want depend on your own actions and merit and quite another to have that same thing depend on someone else, even if that person is a close family member who, ostensibly, should have your best interests in mind. The thing that’s driving me crazy at the moment is being completely out of control. The last time I had news about the Plans it was all about me, and if I fucked it up it was me doing the fucking, so to speak. I can look at that very positive development and see it clearly, see how I was responsible for it, see how my achievements and qualifications stacked up to allow me to take that important step in realizing the plans. Not this weekend; this next step hinges, basically, on my relationship with my dad, which…well, like I said. I’d be writing here for a thousand years if I tried to tell you about that, and my flight is in ten hours so I wouldn’t even get to any of the interesting stuff if I stopped writing this entry and started writing a very different one.

I want to be in control of what happens this weekend and I never have been in control when it comes to my father so I guess it’s a little ridiculous to think that after thirty years I can just waltz into town and expect that things will go smoothly, the way I want them to. Still, though. I want this bad. I want these Plans bad, and I don’t know what I’ll do if I have to give up hope this weekend. If crossing every finger, every toe, every muscle, every tendon, every axon, every cell in my body as tightly as I can for four straight days will help, then maybe I won’t have to. Wish me luck.

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