All of my late father's violence, alcoholism, absenteeism, among various other deficiencies, are no match for my selfish wish to have him here again.. as I imagine him comforting and mentoring me through the completion of my 40th year.. at a time when youthful optimism is less than it ever was, career is in the toilet, and I hang precariously from a cloud steeped with debt.. confused about what matters most. This is about the same age when my life hero started to un-apologetically show weakness.. and to fall apart like a Chinese motorcycle.. self-medicating away the painful reality of missed opportunities, of promises made and then broken to himself.. of hopes and dreams slipping out of reach and out of sight.. We can only shine so brightly for so long, especially when the throttle is unrelentingly opened up to full power. Today I stand in his shoes and look down upon them in awe, imagining how much more completely I would have self-destructed after walking just a mile in them. I forgive everything, old man.. but not myself for being an ignorant douche-royale during most of the times when you were crying out for love, for relief, for praise, for just a little respect. I salute you.