I never knew my father. I only know of him from second hand stories and rumors. My father chose heroin over me; he chose heroin over everyone, well, except for his clients. Not only was my father an addict, but his claim to fame was dealer to the stars. Rumors are he shot actress Mackenzie Phillips up with her first hit and bragged about this to everyone. Supposedly he shot up with Jim Morrison in Venice, and was heroin buddies with porn legend John Holmes. I even heard an unsubstantiated rumor that my dad may have been with Holmes when we a simple collection for drug money in Laurel Canyon turned into murder. Maybe these are some of the questions I would ask my dad, maybe not. It’s emotionally complicated.
I think one of the questions I would ask my dad is why heroin? You came from a well off family, you lived in a nice house, you had nice cars, and from what I learned from numerous people is that your mother loved you. Your brother ended up being successful attorney, and you? You ended up dying a junkie. Why? What were you numbing out from?
I’d also ask him why he abandoned me? Maybe a better question is why do I use the word abandoned. Because in reality, maybe he was honest about not being emotionally and financially ready for have children. Or maybe he had the typical fantasy that a loving couple with a suburban house and a white picket fence would adopt me. Or did you think children interfere with your grandiose dream of being a rock star? Of being famous? Did you ever think about me or did you push me deep into the recesses of your mind?
I’d like to know how you met my mother. Why did you marry her only to give me away a few months later and then divorce her. Too much responsibility? I’d like to know why, as an adult in your mid 20’s did he think it was ok to knock up a 15 year old girl? Was it love? Lust? Are you a weirdo pedophile just like my first boyfriend?
The bigger question is, do I really want to know the answers? Does it really matter in the grand scheme of things. Junkies are notorious liars – would I ever get an honest answer for him? Even in death, I cant imagine my father having some sort of miraculous change and eternally being Crazy Eddy. I would want the truth, but would I get it from him? Doubtful. Hunter S Thompson said it best, “You can turn your back on a person, but never turn your back on a drug…”
I think in reality if I was granted just a moment of time with you dad, I would just hug you and tell you that I love you. And the only thing I would want to hear from you is, “I love you Stef and I’m proud of you. I’m sorry.” Would anything else really matter?