At 27, around the age my father was when I was born, I had an epiphany. I was still a kid. He must have been too. Amazing how much we’re able to forgive after our realizations. This is no excuse for his absence, the toxicity of his behavior. Belligerent lips uttering man up numerous times. Idolizing anyone is dangerous, but idolizing parents is downright absurd, lethal. Part of his problem was that he had an even worse father and was determined to admire him in spite of this reality. The sooner you figure out your parents are flawed idiots the easier they are to love. I spent most of my early years screaming at my mother. Couldn’t understand why she couldn’t bend steel with her hands, work a full-time job, bake brownies for my class bake sale, shoot laser beams from her eyes, and run faster than a speeding bullet—all at the same time. She got a lot of the flack that should have gone to the source of the pain. Damn damn damn James. Mother, forgive me. I now understand.