Thursday, January 30, 2014

Under the Rock (Meeting my father?)

I  wish I did, but glad I didn’t, sometimes it’s better not to know what is under the rock, that is to say: be it a treasure  or a scorpion— That is how I felt, when I was working at one of the St. Paul, Night Clubs, off University Avenue, in 1963,   at the age of fifteen-years old,  as a busboy, bringing  ice into the bar area, and picking up containers of dishes for the dishwasher: when some stranger said to me, a man at the bar:   “You’re Chick Siluk, Dennis Siluk, right?” 
       And I said, “Right!” with a peculiar look on my face, as if to say—but I didn’t say, “How do you know my name anyhow?” but he went on to his next sentence, before I could say or think to say, anything else: “Look across the bar,” he told me, and I did, and there were a clump of heads, all kind of shadowy, as often it is in bars, and I said, “Okay, now what,” and the bartender was looking, and my boss from the kitchen was looking about, as often bosses do to see, whatever a boss wants to be checking on, glancing at me off and on, as I’m having this slight conversation with the stranger—plus I’m supposed to be sixteen years old to work in a bar, and the man went on to say, “Your father is over there, go say hello to him!”
       I was taken by surprise, “Really,” he said, and I glanced over again, there were four or five people clumped together, seemingly with dark clothes on, so it appeared, perhaps worn suite jackets.
       “Go over there,” he said, “really it is your father, say hello!” and I was dumbfound for words, I knew my father had not even taken the time to sign my birth certificate, I never saw a picture of him, didn’t know him from Adam, and I didn’t even know his name, but I knew my brother and I had different fathers, or I assumed that, I guess I wasn’t certain of that until later years, when my mother finally disclosed her shameful truth, she was dating two men at the same time, two bosom buddies at the same time, and when she told me this, it was the hardest thing in the world for her to reveal.
       Anyhow, I said, “I don’t have a father,” lost for words, and not knowing what else to say, and had I gone over there what would I do and say anyhow, it was beyond me, and then I was called into the back kitchen, and told: “Keep busy, no need talk to the customers,” and when I went to bring more ice to the barkeep, those four or five fellows had up and left.  So I say, as I’ve always said   about this situation, and will always continue to say if need be: yes, I wish I had went over there to see him, and glad I didn’t, who’s to say, what was under that rock. But I don’t hold any grudges.

Written: 1-11-2014/No: 1025