VIII. Parental Guidance.
Updated: Mar 31
Simone hardly noticed that the pizza he was printing had stopped midway. His mind had been caught astray reliving the moments he had shared with his father a couple of days ago in this very apartment, printing the very same combination of foods to make his pesto margarita pizza.
His father had come unannounced correctly judging that it would be the only way he could see his son. Simone had done everything in his power to remain even more isolated from the world since his fallout with Adwoa. It had been at least a week since that conversation had turned his world rotten.
When his father had come in, Simone was wasted away on his bed crowded in by takeaway boxes and smells of suppressed farts.
“Simone, it’s me. Dad.” Simone’s father poked his head around the room door.
“Was around the neighbourhood and thought I should drop by and see how you were doing?”
“Yeh, that’s what I thought. I see you have changed a few things in your room?” He said this as he lifted Simone’s study chair off the floor.
“You’ve sort of just let the furniture decide where it wants to be.”
Simone, groggy-eyed, lifted his head from the pillow to spare a look at his father who had managed to find his way to the edge of Simone’s bed. After acknowledging his presence he buried his head in pillows again.
“Hey-hey. Come on. Can you spare your old man a decent conversation? I came here to check on you.”
Simone slowly dragged his body out of bed to fulfil his obligations as a son, physically. But mentally and spiritually he was hardly there. Nor anywhere.
“Let me get straight to it. You didn’t really say much about what happened between you and Adwoa, and you don’t have to. And I think the way you are feeling has a lot to do with how your mother and I raised you. Or didn’t.” Simone’s father brushed his fine moustache with his forefinger and thumb, looking away from Simone, speaking to him in a way that he rarely did. “Some might say that we were living in unprecedented times, you know with the so-called fourth industrial revolution, climate change just starting and all. But in a lot of ways, I think we were still very much in precedented times. We had a way of making it seem that we were special. And everything around us told us so.
The planet was dying, capitalism was about to blow up, Ghana’s democracy on the very edge. The system was collapsing and technology was going to take over. We were all fighting some end-of-world scenario believing we were the pivot. But really, we were just young. Your mother and I were both egotistical of course. And right from the off-put our selves in front of everything else. I mean, how could we have done otherwise? I had made my mind that I would just sort of love freely and be single for most of my life. And your mom was incredible at whatever she did. But, at some point, I had to make a decision. And it was between what we could be, and what I could become. And I thought it was the latter and even actively pursued it for a while. But I ended up feeling like how you may feel right now. Empty.
I think she felt the same, and for all our progressive ideals and liberal ideologies, our loved boiled down to putting ‘us’ first. We didn’t really live up to what we could have been, and at some point, we strayed. And I think that prevented you, in a lot of ways, from being there in the world and experiencing what you should have as a kid, as a young man. And I am sorry for that. But I am also not sorry, because your mother was my world, and giving everything to her was…” Simone’s father’s lower lip quivered and a rush of breath took hold of him. “And I haven’t known what to do with you since.”
Simone’s father bent his head down and gently sobbed for a little while as Simone sat perplexed. He didn’t know what to say, seeing that he hardly said much to his dad on this emotional level. But he thought he didn’t want to see him this way.
“Dad, it’s ok. We are still here. I know you love me. I love you too.” Simone still didn’t understand where this outpouring had come from, but pulled himself closer to his dad and rubbed his back wholeheartedly until the sobs ebbed away. Soon the moment being shared by the father and son subsided into their custom formalities.
After reliving this exchange with his dad, Simone snapped back to reality all because of an incessant beeping coming from the printer. He looked down at its screen and saw something rather odd. A message.
‘No internet connection.’