Saturday 26 May 2007
My father called me this morning.
I was surprised. He is in Senegal at the moment and I thought that would give him an excellent excuse for not contacting me. I haven’t had any news of him since 16 May, when my mother passed him to me on the telephone. I admit I haven’t missed him, because of that exasperating neutral tone he had.
On the contrary, I really didn’t want him to succeed in bring down his barriers to come closer to me on such an occasion. But really! What would be needed for him to take a step towards me? Would I have to be on the point of death?
Of course I have repeated to myself that he wasn’t going to change as if by magic, just by reading my letter, and talk to me about his feelings and emotions. I told myself and told myself again that touched on a painful subject for him. But all the same! It’s about me and being there for me. That doesn’t seem to me to be so insurmountable.
Yet these last few days, my anger has diminished, and leaves disappointment in its place. My father disappoints me. No more the general, no more the pedestal. Just a man and his limits. No more magic powers, no more heroism. Just a man who can’t express his emotions. Not even that damned pride that he normally feeds me. Oh that, I was truly upset.
As a result, when I heard him asking me how my convalescence was going, the joy and gratitude that I felt, really surprised me.
It gave me such pleasure that he had approached the question himself that I couldn’t hide it. OK, I didn’t go into any details but I told him how I was feeling today, and explained to him that I was in considerable pain to start with, that I couldn’t walk but that today the pain and the dragging sensations were gone and I had returned to walking normally if slowly…
I am de-light-ed that he phoned. There, just telling you about the call, I’m smiling again.
[Original in French]