I remain unable to fully comprehend the nature of my father’s love for me. This is coupled by the fact that I have no other recollection of love, and thus, no other association with the concept. I have never experienced the soft, warm and affectionate nature of a mother’s love, or the freeing, sensual, unpragmatic and all-consuming love which one experiences as they plunge into the depths of irrational infatuation with another human being; I have never had such an affliction. And then there is self-love, a version of this thing called love that I have never quite understood. I hug myself, and touch myself sometimes, but surely that cannot be considered as self-love, can it?
From what I have already told you about him, you may gather that he does not in fact love me, though you know he says he does… several times. But I beg to differ, I think he does love me. In fact, I know he loves me, I am quite aware of it. For one, I don’t think he would have let a 4-year-old mute into his rather small home and reared him to full-size on a meagre income if he did not intend to love this boy fully and wholeheartedly. He must have discussed it with my mum prior to my arrival, because when I did arrive at his doorstep with my mother, and she rang the doorbell, he opened it wide and reached out with his massive, rough hand and led me into his home. I don’t know if my mum was supposed to come back that day to pick me up, but she didn’t, and my father still kept me.
(The fact that my mum left me and never came back may make you feel pity for me, but there is no need. I barely remember that woman. And in the time I spent with her in her tiny, one-room cabin, she was rarely present.)
Where was I? Oh, yes. I was contemplating the inexplicable nature of love. I guess, I cannot limit it to a single nature, as there are many faces to it, as I have demonstrated above. My father has always been rather varying with his expressions. They oscillate from soft and endearing to more violent and painful actions.
When I was still under ten, he would always buy me my favourite ice-cream and sit with me while I watched my favourite tv show. He would sometimes spend nights in my room watching me from the door while I slept, which was a welcome intrusion, because I was afraid of the monsters that lurked in the dark that were but conjurings of my little mind. That little activity progressed as time went on. He later graduated to sitting at the corner of my bed next to my feet and then a little later, he would get into the bed with me. I always slept in nothing but my underwear, and when he was inside my covers, his hands would wander when he thought I was asleep. Most of the time I wasn’t.
When I stepped into my teens, his favourite past time became whipping me. It didn’t happen too often, but it happened often enough for me to both expect and dread it. It wasn’t so bad, and the scars healed. And he was always remorseful when he did it. He was just trying to protect me I guess, from the outside world. He was obsessive about my coming straight home from school, and never leaving the house without him. And most importantly, I couldn’t interact with anyone, not at school, not on the bus, not on our street. He wanted me all to himself, and he told me people were too dangerous. See, he always looked out for me.
It was only a little later when the man from that society came and led me to put everything into question. He confused me deeply; about my father, about the life we lived, and what he felt for me. I was sure he felt strongly, and I was always okay with what he did to me and for me. I knew nothing else; he was always my only constant, like a perpetual, looming deity in the cosmos that I defined as my small yet vast existence on this planet.
The man tried to tell me that everything that happened to me, everything that my father did to me, was doing to me, was never meant to happen. He came to the house the other day, sat me down and attempted without fail to extricate the tales of my eventful past from the dusty crevices of my untouched memories. As I spoke, rather reluctantly I might add, I fixed my gaze on his deep, unrevealing eyes and watched his face mar with revulsion as I relayed the events of my young life. The change of his expression was otherwise subtle, but still obvious enough to catch.
Can you imagine he tried to make me leave with him? He wanted me to leave my father and go live in a big house with other boys and girls my age. He said he wanted to rescue me. The audacity! How can he take one look at me and assume I need saving?
Anyway, I can never leave my father. In my rather turbulent and erratic life, I have only been able to rely on two facts: one, my father loves me, and two, I cannot survive without him. He told me so, and I believe him. I’ll be sure to relay this to the man when he returns tomorrow for a check-up.
Sorry, I lost my train of thought again. Silly me. I guess I’ll return to aimless ponderings of love tomorrow. You probably still think he doesn’t love me. But maybe you don’t know what love is either, so you possibly cannot know what it is not.
Anyway, I best get to dinner before he comes up to get me.