The Only Time My Father Showed Emotion Was at My Sports Games
My father is an emotional enigma.
At home he was quiet, reserved, mild-mannered, more of a question-asker than a question-answerer, with occasional bursts of pent-up anger.
At my sports games he would come alive. He would pace up and down the sidelines at my soccer games and behind the dugout and home plate at my baseball games and shout and scream.
"Get the ball! You got this!"
"Yeeeah, nice job!"
"Nice catch, great work."
"C'mon, you can do better than that!"
"Go go go go go go go go go go go go go!"
"I want to see some hustle! Why are you slowing down? Hustle, hustle, hustle.
"C'moooooooooon. Get your ass in gear! Get your ass in gear, young man!"
"C'MON. C'MON. LET'S GO! LET'S GO! GO, JOEY! GO, FASTER! FASTER! GODDAMNNIT, FASTER FASTER FASTER!"
After the games he'd be hoarse and tired.
He would be silent until my next game, when it would start over again.
Maybe that's why he was disappointed when I quit sports as a teenager. How would he release all that emotion now? He'd have to store it all inside, like he did when he was a kid, with no way to let it out.
Maybe that's why he started tinkering with explosives, making little bombs. It was a metaphor for how he felt. Trip the wire, and it all goes boom. Anyway, I don't really see him in prison, so I haven't asked.