I spent 20 minutes on the phone yesterday talking with dad about sex. To be clear, it wasn’t a generic chat about characters in a movie or flirting or attraction, it was, quite frankly, DAD very specifically telling ME how infatuated he’d become with a woman he’d just met, and how much he wanted to “fuck her.”
Yup. Just typing these words makes my head want to explode, so you can imagine the discomfort I experienced yesterday—the twisting and contorting of all my insides—as dad breezily chatted away about being “a man who needs a little hanky panky.”
Dad’s filter has definitely been affected from his stroke. Not surprising, since such a large mass of his brain was damaged. Even so, he’s usually his polite, well-mannered self. But every now and then, out of the blue, he’ll pull out this gem, when a guy wearing too much cologne walks onto the elevator: “YOUR GIRLFRIEND MUST REALLY LIKE THAT COLOGNE!”
Then there’s church. We’ve never been a church-going family, but dad’s spiritual/religious beliefs have surfaced in the last couple of years, so now we go. Just me, my sister and dad. It’s actually rather pleasant. Everyone is super friendly and not too “churchy,” but the 1 ½ hours would definitely go by quicker if I understood what they were saying. Unlike most kids of Korean parents, we weren’t expected to learn Korean growing up. Of course, I regretted it as soon as I cared about such things, but as a kid I couldn’t care less. So now I sit there in church, discreetly stretching my IT bands and glutes, planning my classes, making grocery lists and, every so often, praying.
It’s always in those particularly quiet church moments when dad decides to say something to me. Be it his unpredictable filter and/or his diminished hearing, but his volume is usually a couple of notches too high, despite the fact that I’m sitting right beside him. This nugget cut through a lull in the pastor’s dramatic sermon the other day: “HONEY, MY GROIN AREA IS ITCHY!”
In many ways, I’ve been in training for the “sex” conversation with dad ever since the stroke. Honestly, with everything I’ve done for and experienced with him, a frank chat about sex on a Monday morning shouldn’t rattle me.
The initial impact subsided quite quickly. Then, I gathered my organs, put my head back together and went on with my day.