A Letter to My Daughter

I could lie and say that my physical or emotional needs were not met as a child to justify my irresponsible actions. I could be the victim and say I didn’t receive any parental love to direct to you. I could paint a portrait of myself so pathetic that you would feel guilty to think ill of your father. As much as I would love to do that, I, at least, owe you the truth.

I don’t recall looking up to either of my parents particularly. Both of them were honest laborers with a salary just enough to cover the household expenses. I didn’t have everything I want, but I had everything I need. Maybe this lack of discomfort spoiled me, maybe it’s just how humans are but a longing for more started to rise inside of me. At that point of my life, my happiness rooted in the absence of trouble rather than a presence of meaning. I wanted to feel something, whether painful or delightful, to not merely exist.

I hoped for the meaning to find me instead of searching for it myself. Years passed by, I was an adult with a newborn daughter and an unhappy marriage, which neither of them gave me the feeling of win or loss I seeked. I knew I had to clear my head, therefore I bought a train ticket with my spare money. I hoped to feel a certain type of way, something fearful if I was lucky, about this city I was a stranger to. I almost gave up after a few days passed by, up till I came across a greyhound race. I’ll try to set the record as straight as I can but my memory gets hazy in this part of the story. All I can say is that I was fascinated by the loud, barbaric sounds of the heated crowd, behaving in an almost primitive way, directing all of their attention to the dogs. I thought these men were so brave for solely depending their, well, everything on just a brief moment in time. It took no more than just a moment for a man to lose his everything.

My favorite dog was a beautiful brown greyhound named Stormy. At the time I felt no shame that I bet everything I had on this beautiful creature, Stormy. Well, it wouldn’t be wrong to state that I was quite proud too. Please keep in mind that these races are addictive. The euphoric feeling kept my mind too occupied to, and I’m very sorry to say this, turn back to you and your mother. I felt like I had everything I ever wanted, but it turns out that my mind was playing tricks on me after all. I believed I was the king of the world once, now I’m nothing more an average man without a single penny in his pocket.

Your mother tried to contact me numerous times. She found it in her kind heart and soul to forgive me and want me back in her family. I didn’t reply to any of her letters but one. I told her to get a new husband before you were too old and have a clean start. I heard about him too, your new father, he seems to be a really sweet guy. I’m not trying to get involved in your life after all those years, don’t get me wrong. You must be celebrating your 16th birthday around this time, to think that you were just a baby when I last saw you! I don’t think I have a say in your life anymore, but I’m still your father. You’re my blood. The only reason of this letter is to inform you, that’s all. I don’t know if you can trust on my sincerity when I wish you and your family the best. I know you’re a bright little girl. I’m sorry I had somebody else to fill my spot as a father to you. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you when a little girl needs her father the most.

 

Yours truly, just a stranger.

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