Here I am on the bench. I had to get out of the house for an hour. Lou is not handling this upcoming holiday well at all, his anger is in full swing. FULL Swing. Can I blame him?Hell no.
As I stare at Anthony I am reminded of all the years Lou devoted to being the best Dad he could. Lou gave up his Wall Street career to raise our boys. Anthony was his life’s work.
Lou poured every day into Anthony, even to the sacrifice of our other sons. They didn’t want for anything material, but Anthony was a handful and demanded a good majority of Lou’s time and effort.
If there wasn’t a sentence with the word “Anthony” in it, Lou was having a decent day. I say this because usually after the word “Anthony” would be the word “fuck” or “shit” or a variety of other pleasantries.
It was a JOY to come home from work and hear Lou go on and on about Anthony and all the time he took up in his day. Lou always questioned why Anthony wouldn’t listen to him.
“If only he would listen to me, he would do something with his life.”
Lou wasn’t wrong.
Anthony and Lou were embroiled in a constant battle for “who had the bigger penis.” I am not kidding. That’s how far their arguments had come. I nicknamed them “Dueling Johnson Contests.” Who had the bigger balls and dick to move life in the right direction. The shouting, screaming, storming out the doors was a regular occurrence in the house.
I just lived there. Tried to intervene on many occasions and one or the other of them would tell me to “mind my own business” or set me up to be the proverbial “bad guy.” That was always fun.
This was Lou’s life. Sounds pretty shitty right?
It’s gone now.
He is an angry mess. I don’t blame him.
For every shitty, off the wall argument these two would have, they would have them.
Now that Anthony is gone, he’s got no battle of wills anymore. He’s got no one to duel with. My Lou is missing an enormous, if not all encompassing presence. His son.
The son that made him say the word “fuck” more times than I can count was his world. Don’t get me wrong. Joseph and Luciano are his world too, and Lou would die for them, but they don’t need him as much.
They don’t get into stupid jams every week or lose jobs because they’re too lazy to deal with a boss with an attitude. They don’t call Lou every two minutes saying “I need you Dad” or “Fuck it Dad.” My other two sons have lives that don’t revolve around their father. Can’t change that. Don’t want to either. They’re not meant to be needy and dependent.
Anthony and Lou were inseparable. And exhaustingly dependent upon the other for survival.
It breaks my heart that Lou doesn’t have his needy child anymore.
For every ounce of angst, there was a pound of LOVE between those two. The scale always went a little over a pound. Lou would pay the extra ounces and take the love home. For Anthony.
His Dueling Partner.
Games are over. Forever.
It’s Father’s Day tomorrow and as I sit here on the bench staring at our son, I am heartbroken by Lou’s profound loss.
No amount of love from me, his other two sons, or anyone else can help him on his first Father’s Day without his firstborn.
Compounding the situation, Lou just lost a very good friend, who now joins his son in Heaven.
So I am going to let him grieve, let him be angry as hell and bite holes in my tongue if I have to when he starts arguments with me out of sheer frustration.
Lou doesn’t deserve this. He worked so hard to give Anthony, Joey and Luciano the BEST of everything. He gave up his career for them. He built them a good life and had plans to divide it amongst the 3 of them as each of them married. Lou is the most organized man I know. He had a carefully laid out, thorough plan.
It’s now been torn into new pieces. He has to adjust, just as I do, to life without our son. Where the closest we get to him is this bench and a kiss on his headstone. Lou built Anthony a special garden, with 11 evergreen plants symbolizing the day he died. I wish I could love away all the pain this Father’s Day. That his other two sons could be enough to make him smile. Even for a moment.
No matter how crappy it was. It was his.
It was taken away, without warning, way too soon.