I slog off to meet dad with a hangover, its father's day and I've asked him to lunch. Dad. I spot him immediately in Union Square in his white jacket, navy polka dot tie, talking away on his celly. For a while his phone continues to ring nonstop and he tells people he must get off because he's with his daughter. All the calls are social, mind you, and require back stories which he gladly goes into explaining in between calls. Finally, he turns his phone off so they will all leave him alone. Some of the calls are from silly women who love to get caught up in dad's drama. Its amazing how easily one can piss my dad off, but then of course, he always wants to talk to them about it endlessly and apparently, so do they. What they did wrong and why he was upset, etc. One of his latest arguments involved a female friend who was livid that my father wouldn't even try to read her future because she's heard he's clairvoyant and has done this for other women. He insisted this wasn't true, but she didn't believe him and they got in a terrible row about it.
We sit down at a restaurant to eat. We have to move at least three times because dad doesn't like it when people sit too close to him. If someone's chair accidentally touches his when they move I really believe he dies a bit inside. He also believes this always happens to him because people are so drawn to him, that even when the restaurant is empty everyone wants to sit near him.
Dad always gives me some sort of semi-precious stone to attract all kinds of fortune whenever I see him. This time he tells me to pick a hand. In one hand he holds the stone meant for luck, and in the other hand he holds the stone that brings love. I choose luck so dad gives me both. A malachite owl for luck and a rose quartz heart for love.
The clouds look very dark and we're sitting outside but dad says it won't rain for a while because he doesn't want it to. This man has a great deal of faith in the power of his thoughts. His, not anyone else's mind you. He's tried to teach me this mastery of mind-control, but so far, nobody he's tried to teach has been able to reach his level of god-like powers. He feels sorry for everyone for lacking his powers.
Its because of these powers that most people who call him want advice on everything from their marriages to legal matters. He sighs and tells me how hard it is for the entire community of Astoria, Queens to count on him for everything. They all wanted him to run for local councilman for a while but he declined. Instead, he has meetings at the local cafes where he gives his advice for free. A formal position would taint it all and possibly interfere with his powers. His latest meeting with some of the locals involved sending letters to a man they've decided they collectively hate. A feud between the man and my father that he has now involved all of Astoria in. Dad has convinced them all to tell this man what a despicable character he is in writing. The man moved to Colombia three months ago, but that doesn't stop dad, because he feels the man should know how many angry Astorians he's left behind. One woman says this man lifted her skirt once in the street for kicks. This is not funny stuff, and dad wants each person to tell him so in writing.
Then dad tells me if he wanted to he could make our waitress fall in love with him, but he's not going to bother because he doesn't have the energy for women that young anymore. Most of lunch is spent with each one of us not really listening to the other because we are too focused on what we will be saying next. Its a game of who gets the attention and in the end I always win by getting teary-eyed and dramatic about something going on in my life. He gets very sympathetic here, dad hates to see me upset. I think it hurts him more than it does me. Sometimes this tactic really backfires because I then have to console him about it endlessly. I say, "See this is why I don't tell you when I'm upset anymore, because it just makes you too upset!" This undermines dad's powers so he pulls himself together quickly and insists that those were the old day-ways, and he's just fine and knows I will be too.
Then we go to the Buddhist center where I practice at dad's suggestion. I chant for a while. Dad claims to be meditating, but really I think he's just napping. Outside the center he charms everyone with his stories about all the various guru's he's followed since the sixties. They seem to think he's great and one woman even compliments his white jacket. He looks at me with a smile as if to say, "didn't I tell you this jacket was great?" It is. And so is dad.