“Simon, please don’t call me sir,” he says in almost a whisper, “I’m not a drill sergeant, I’m your dad.” There are shame-colored tears in his eyes. “Respect is one thing but when you say “sir” it just comes from a place of disdain. It makes my skin crawl.”
There is something wrong with the person in my father’s skin. I just can’t put my finger on it though it seems I did exactly what I didn’t want to do: make him upset. But instead of looking angry he looks more forlorn. And I decide to go for broke.
“You’ve been so different since I’ve been home. You don’t yell anymore.”
It almost seems as though he is more afraid of me, and what I might do or say, than I am of him. This I can’t put into words; it is one boundary I can’t push. In this moment I feel as though I am outside of myself looking in; I’ve never been this frank with my father. As though I were actually outside of my body I decide to dip back in. I meet his gaze with the hopes that it’ll elicit something out of him. He looks down as soon as our eyes meet.
“I don’t know Simon,” he says to the floor, “Have your bags packed before Friday,” and he walks out of the room.