Tag Archives: father




Categories: Family, Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My apologies for the delay between this and my last post. College is back in full swing, I recently moved, and I’ve been working my butt off on my super-secret project. Recent events, however, have prompted me to write. I need to get something off my chest.

First, a little biography. I’ve never met my father. He has never been a part of my life, having left my mother and me when I was but a wee babe. I know very little about him, except for a few minor details. [Apparently I look quite similar to him, which is a credit to him. Despite the other things he might be, at least he’s goddamned sexy. ;)]

Last night I was contacted on Failbook by my half-sister. I’ve never met her, though I’ve known of her existence for about ten years or so. I’ve never tried to contact her before because, frankly, I could care less about her or my half-brother. I already have a sister, and her name is Mirel Vera Allegra Jones (though hopefully her last name will be Santiago again soon enough, but that’s a topic for another day).

I do feel for Jennifer, my half-sister, because she did not know for certain that I existed until last night. In that, we have something in common; we’ve both been wounded by the man who calls himself Allen and whose genetic material Jennifer and I share. My empathy for her situation does not change the fact that she is a stranger to me, however. My mother always told me never to talk to strangers…

This morning, then, imagine my surprise when I received another Failbook message from a stranger: my absentee father’s current wife. I’m taking the liberty of re-posting her message here:

Hi Darius my name is Melody Duncan I am Jeniffer Duncan’s step mother..yes that means Allen Duncan is my husband..I am not going to feed you a line of BS why he didnt stand by you or your mom, but I know sence I have been with himfor the last eight years he has been a good man …I do know when he was younger he drank alot and smoked a lot of pot. it wasnt until his other son David was 13 did he finally get his sh.t together…It look like you have done well for yourself and you should be very proud of how you turned out…you see neither one of his other two kids finished high shool, and I see you went to college..and you have a beautiful wife and child… and you are there for them.. I think he couldnt handle what ever was going on at that time in his life you and David are only 7 month apart…so how do you choose which family to stay with?? I do know you do cross through his mind form time to time… but there is nothing he can do to turn back time and make things right with you..I do wish you the best in life in everything you do.. Take care and may god always watch over you and your family………sincerly Melody Duncan

And here’s my reply:


I would argue that a good man would try to make amends for the mistakes of his past, even if he knew they were doomed to failure. It is the attempt that speaks to a man’s character, not the results. A good man would have revealed the truth to his other children. Therefore, your description of Allen as a “good man” rings hollow. Actions, indeed, speak louder than words.

It is true Allen cannot turn back time, nor is there much chance of making things right with me. If I do cross his mind from time to time as you say, I wonder if the number 9,360 crosses his mind as well. That is the number of dollars the court ordered him to pay to help support me. If one were interested in making amends, that number would be a good place to start.

You see, Melody, in my thirty years of life, I’ve let go of the hate and anger and shame of being a bastard child. All that remains is a sense of injustice and a desire for retribution. I don’t feel owed love or compassion or affection. There is simply the matter of an unsettled financial obligation. Thankfully, time has a way of sorting these things out and making them right.

To that end, I’d prefer not to hear from you again unless it’s to tell me of Allen’s death. I harbor you no ill will; I simply have nothing else to say to you. If Allen wants to contact me himself, my info is pretty easy to find in cyberspace (and has been for quite some time).

-Darius McCaskey

I’m not really sure why I feel the need to share this, except that I am a believer in calling bullshit when people are deluding themselves. Maybe I’m hopeful I can shame someone into doing something they ought to have done of their own volition long ago. I dunno. Maybe I’m just an asshole. >shrug<


From Bitterness To Joy

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Categories: Family, Father's Day, Holidays, Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Father’s Day used to be a source of bitterness and resentment for me. I was not born hating Father’s Day. I learned to despise it as a celebration of something I thought I never had.

My biological father, David Allen Duncan, has never been a part of my life. He left my mother and me before I was even a year old, so I have absolutely no memory of him. From what I understand, that’s probably for the best: most stories that I’ve heard about him paint a picture of an abusive, manipulative piece of shit. I don’t judge Mr. Duncan based on those stories, however. I judge him based on the things that I’ve experienced, the injustices he’s visited upon me personally.

Witness, wherefore, that this cocksucker never paid even the pittance of child support he was ordered to pay by the court in 1980. Behold, this asshole fled to Tennessee to escape his meager obligations as a father. Consider, this douchebag sired another child who bears his name but seven months after me. (Not that I’m particularly bitter. It’s really just the principle of the thing. Traditionally, the first-born son would carry the father’s name. I happen to love my first name. Being a Dave would be so blasé.)

Obviously, my actual father was not a source of happiness and love on Father’s Day. My erstwhile step-father was not much better.

My mother’s ex-husband, Erico Santiago, was, in some ways, a worse influence on my life than my absentee father. Whereas Allen was not present to love me and nurture me, Eric was available physically, but completely stonewalled emotionally. He came into my life when I was about five years old.

As a child, I tried every way I knew to make Rico love me. I was rewarded with indifference for my efforts. When I behaved in ways expected of me, I was met with silence. When I misbehaved, I was rewarded with physical abuse and neglect. I could fill an entire post with the blatant and subtle ways in which this man hated me, but there’d be no point to it over than to play upon your sympathies in a self-serving attempt at garnering your pity.

In time, I gave up trying with Eric. He had taught me, along with the absence of my actual father, that seeking validation from without was as pointless as seeking rain in the desert. I learned that the only sustainable sense of worth came from within.

On the other hand, my grandfather, Ed McCaskey, was one of the few men who showed me unconditional love and compassion when I was younger. His deep, booming voice comforted me when I needed it and corrected me when I needed that too. He made me understand that despite my flaws and errors, I was worthy of love and forgiveness.

My grandpa is also directly responsible for my enduring love of sci-fi. One of my earliest movie memories is watching the copy of the Star Wars trilogy he taped from TNT or TBS. My grandpa is also a Trekker from back in the day, and while I prefer the Next Generation, there is a certain fondness in my heart for Kirk, Bones, Spock, Scotty, Uhura, Sulu, Checkov et. al.

In a charming bit of serepidity, I became an ice hockey fan as a teenager; my grandfather is also a huge hockey fan. (He’s got season tickets to his local team, in fact.) As a kid, I never knew of his love for the sport, though it doesn’t surprise me. He’s from South Dakota. There’s not much to do there in the winter except for hockey. I only mention this to illustrate two points: 1) I regret that I didn’t spend more time with my grandpa before he moved to California, and 2) I may be more like my grandpa than I previously knew. That would make me very happy.

>>>2 paragraphs redacted to reflect my new reality<<<

My Grandpa McCaskey taught me that hard work is eventually rewarded. I’ve learned from him that one must stand up for what they believe in and that one cannot simply run away from one’s problems: they must be confronted and overcome. He’s taught me that one can be better than one’s past says they should be.

So yesterday’s Father’s Day was filled with joy in place of bitterness. Thinking about the father figures in my life, I reflected on the lessons I’ve learned from them. I hope to take what my past has taught me and raise my daughter to be strong, compassionate, hard-working, peaceful, geeky, persistent, and considerate.

I hope that when my daughter reflects on her childhood, she’s happy that I was her daddy.