This morning I got a letter from my jailed deaf dad in which he threatens to commit suicide or hurt a guard or prisoner so he can get put in Ad Seg or be killed.
I haven't written Dad since June. Not the longest I've gone without writing, but longer than I'd like. He had written me a letter that was inexplicably returned and so I hadn't heard from him either. That is, until my 5th wedding anniversary when I received his awesome handmade card and three letters: the original that had been returned to him and two others. In the original, he slanders my mom. I won't go into details as his stories are never to be believed entirely. He's like the National Enquirer: there are elements of truth underlying in his tales mixed with exaggeration or bald faced lies. His other two letters expressed some regret in sharing the info and saying he needed to get the gorilla off his back. (A gorilla? That is a lot to carry around!)
As with all his letters, there were numerous things he wanted (Phil Steele's College Football Preview) and answers he needed (What are rhinoceros horns made of?)*. Add the three letters together and I had two pages worth of a To Do list for him. So I procrastinated. Hey, I'm busy and he could stand to sweat a little if he's feeling guilty. He's done worse things that he's shown no remorse for like, say, I don't know... attacking my mom?!
Time got away and today is three months since I've written him. He's panicked, worried sick that I'm angry with him for the things he wrote. "Kambri, I do not want losing you I am going crazy if I lost you my daughter. Please forgive me. Can you forgive me? Will you forgive me? I am scared...I do not want to be living here if no money or no letter from you."
Words. He wants me to forgive him about some words he wrote that came from his heart during a time of stress. Interesting. I'm going to remind him of this moment after my book comes out.
In all my life, this is the first time he's asked me to forgive him of anything. I feel sad and guilty that he's so isolated and freaking out about not knowing how I am or what I'm feeling. But I'm also dumbfounded. I have forgiven him of far worse transgressions. Does he not realize that?
The thing is, about the stuff he wrote? I didn't care. I'm more bothered that I turned 40 and he never sent me a card. I'm gonna really rake him over the coals for that one. If only he were in the Free World I could play upon his guilt to get some awesome gift out of it. If only...
*Rhino horns are made of keratin, the same protein that makes up hair and nails. Weird.