If I ever got a book deal to pen a memoir or a collection of essays, I'd most certainly write something about Dad. One of the most complicated, turbulent yet ultimately touching relationships I've had in my life was the relationship with my late father. True, if I had written a children's book based on my early years with him, I could've called it Daddy, My Head Is Not a Piñata! He had a scary temper that appeared suddenly and wreaked physical havoc. Like a twister. In those unexpected moments of rage, Dad just plain forgot that he was bigger than the little boy receiving his severe physical punishment. One time Dad hit me in the head so hard with a hurled object that it broke my skin and drew droplets of blood. Fortunately, that kind of stuff all ended by the time I started 4th grade. Then there were times Dad could make me happier than any kid on the block. Like the Christmas he gave my my first classic movie reference book.
"Why, Dad?" I asked. "They can help you."
Dad said, "It was that public speaking thing. I just couldn't get up in front of people and say 'I'm an alcoholic.' You know...like Rita Hayworth in I'll Cry Tomorrow."