Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Kambri Capote?

Capote is a beautifully told biopic starring the Phillip Seymour Hoffman. The movie centers around Capote's obsession with a brutal crime in a small Kansas town. He devotes four years of his life researching the case, interviewing everyone involved and befriending the killers in order to deliver his ultimate book In Cold Blood.

As the film rolled on, I started feeling immensely guilty as Capote began willfully withholding information from the killers, manipulating them to elicit more stories and betraying their trust.

"Oh my God," I thought, "I'm an infinitely less talented Truman Capote and I'm doing the same thing to my Jailed Deaf Dad for Love, Daddy."

I squirmed uncomfortably and wondered if my friends were thinking the same thing. Afterwards, my boyfriend Christian reassured me that there was a big difference, "It's your life, too."

But I still worry that my dad doesn't fully comprehend that, although I support him in jail and love him dearly, I don't 100% believe his side of any story he tells.

This site is weird and exciting and scary all at once. Scary because this is unchartered emotional territory I'm entering here.

My dad has never acknowledged that:

(a) He tried to kill my mom in front of me,
(b) I had to stop it and "read" him his rights (in sign language),
(c) He ruined* my life, and
(d) Never even apologized to me, let alone my mom.

Yet, it will still come as a shock to him that I don't believe his story that:

(a) He never assaulted my mom all those years ago, he "just punched holes in the wall. Only five," and
(b) He wasn't trying to kill his last wife, he was trying to stop her from killing herself.

Wracked with guilt after seeing the movie, I did what Capote could not do: come clean.

I sent my dad a letter (click here to view my scanned letter) clearly spelling out that:

(a) I was going to tell the story from my point of view,
(b) He might not agree with it,
(c) He should feel free to participate a lot or not at all or anywhere in between, and
(d) I love him no matter what. I haven't disowned him thus far, why the hell would I now?

*My life is obviously not ruined. I quite like what I've done with it, in fact. But, tell that to my 16 year old self who then could no longer imagine going to college despite summa cum laude honors, went into hiding and slept in fear.


StaceyG said...

You must be very resilient. A lot of people would be emotionally crippled for life with that history.

StaceyG said...

Oh, and one more thing: the fact that you can still love him despite his actions also shows how resilient you are. Many would have "disowned" their fathers in a similar situation.