My Father

I was 42 had been trying to get sober for 3 years. This was not without setbacks. I forgot about finding my father; Until…

I walked into a restaurant in downtown Toronto for breakfast. You have to understand that this was not a usual occurrence. In the restaurant foyer there was a cameraman, a clown and a woman with a microphone.

I tried to slip past them, but the clown blocked my path. The woman stuck her microphone in my face and asked me,

“Are you here to support the sick children?”

I was staring at the clown and thinking to myself, ‘I wonder how much time I’d have to serve for beating up the clown?’

Which of course would all be caught on camera.

The woman repeated her question and the clown sensing danger, backed up. I stepped forward and put my face into the clowns face, close enough to where I could see tears forming and fear. It was at this point I realized that the clown was a woman.

I left without breakfast and thought about what had just happened. A strange event for me where this woman kept asking me if I was there to support the sick children.

‘Who was sicker than me?’ I thought.

‘Could this be a message?

‘From who? I don’t fucking know!!’

‘Don’t ignore this.’

‘If this is a message… what is it? Sick Children? Parents… Father. Try to find your father one last time.’

I phoned the Red Cross. I told them I was looking for my father. I gave his name. They looked under new listings and and found 1 number.

I called. My father answered the phone. I met him the next week.

It happened just like that.

I met my father for 45 minutes. The man my mother told me was dead. I prayed when I was a kid and asked God if I could see my dead father. If I could hear his voice? If I could look him in the eyes?

With those prayers answered, I moved on and sobered up. More than anything, I realized I didn’t want to be anything like my father.

Dennis Mantin

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