Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Biological Paternal Parental Units

I don't hide the fact that my "father," William and I do not have any semblance of a parent-child relationship. And for the longest time it has been a running gag: Raquel hates Willie; Raquel saw Willie on the street and walked by him like she didn't see him; did you see the look on Raquel's face when she had to take that picture with Willie? Laugh riot!!

Yes, yes, it's all very humorous, I hate Willie, ha ha ha, but I want to set the record straight. I don't hate him. How can I hate someone who doesn't exist to me?

I'll tell you what I really feel.

When I was a little girl I spent the majority of my time with my grandparents. Papi and Grandmami cared for us kids after school and on weekends and school holidays. We had a pretty cool life, if you overlooked the fact that we weren't allowed to play outside. We watched TV, loaded up on my grandmother's delicious food, got Friday treats from Papi like ice cream or Chinese food, and developed our over-active imaginations while under their supervision. It was fab. I liked it.

So I never really had a free minute to think about the fact that my mom was not around or involved as much, or that Willie was nothing more than a name attached to mine; I had my grandparents. Those kinds of thoughts didn't appear until much later in my life.

As a teen I still had Papi in my life and he was all the dad I needed. He did all the things a father does: went to birthday parties, graduations, showed us how to ride bikes, and loved us more than is humanly possible. That other father wasn't even a blip on my radar. Until, while I was in HS, William fathered two more boys by two different women. I wish I could say I didn't care, but I did. To me, these were two more beings who would grow up without him; it made me sad.

Especially because he was denying paternity for one of them.

I made it a point to visit that little boy after he was born. There was no doubt he was related to me. We were like twins. A little hate for William did brew at that moment. Some more hate bubbled over when I discovered that the boy he did recognize as his WOULD grow up with his "father" and that he and his subsequent baby brother and baby sister would form some happy little family that I didn't have with this man.

There were definitely feelings of hate at this point.

But not because I was lacking anything. Papi is more than I could ever hope for in a father figure. It was more of a righteous type of hate. The kind you'd have for a serial killer even if he hadn't killed anyone you knew. Like that.

Still, the little girl in me that now realizes that Papi is not her biological father, wonders where her "father" was during her formative years. And then the grown up in me reminds the little girl: he was in jail, sweetie. You were better off without him.

An even though I can very easily tie my sex addiction and failed relationships in with my non-existent relationship with William R. Penzo, the fact is, I was better off without him. I've made peace with that. He is not a part of my life and that doesn't make me sad.

What is a little sad, though, is his feeble attempt at a reconciliation: every time I see him at Penzo family functions he comes with the same schpiel..."We really need to talk. I want you to know where I'm coming from." He never follows through; I always just smile and nod.

Next time I might have to "dance."

And it's sad that I didn't have a chance to be a big sister to my siblings: William, 20-something, son of Vicky; William, 18 or 19, son of Evelyn; Steven, 18; Joseph, in his teens somewhere; and Stephanie, 13 or 14...who knows...all born to Madelyn. To attempt it now just feels forced and awkward. C'est la vie!

It's also a little frustrating to have his paternity shoved in my face at family functions by relatives who really should know better-

GRANDMA PENZO: Primo, come here. Meet Willie's daughter, the eldest one he had with Mercedes.
PRIMO PENZO: Oh, this is Willie's daughter? Wow, they look just alike. Hi Wilie's daughter.
ME: (not aloud, don't worry- I'm not THAT rude!) No, motherfucka, this is Raquel, Mercedes' daughter. Willie was the sperm donor. AND I DON'T LOOK LIKE HIM!!!

I don't really know what happened between my mom and William.

And frankly, I don't want to know because in my mind it's too late to make a difference. He's just an invisible entity that provided me with last name and fodder for this post.

*smooches...chock full of ambiguous feelings*
there's where i come from and
where i'm going
and i am lost in between
i might go out to that phone booth
and leave a veiled invitation
on your machine