Friday, August 24, 2012
the last book I ever read (Buzz Bissinger's Father's Day, excerpt two)
from Father's Day: A Journey into the Mind and Heart of My Extraordinary Son by Buzz Bissinger:
But I lived inside my head and I could not get outside. Work and the pursuit of success formed my only true identity. I was terrified of what I would be without it. Now I was scared about everything—my career, my children, my notion of fatherhood that had been obliterated. I had always been scared. My self-confidence was a come-on. I hid my insecurity and fear behind a barrage of angry outbursts at editors and friends and wives and waiters. I was tender and kind on many occasions, but then darkness prevailed. Success had been the only constant in my life. It was an addiction. My drug. Until like all drugs it wore off suddenly, and I needed some more.
The birth of the twins only multiplied my sense of inadequacy and yearning for success. We knew they would be premature, but still I fantasized that they would be buoyant, healthy babies handed over to Mom and Dad in soft blue blankets. I wanted congratulations instead of condolences. I wanted the joy of new life, not the threat of sudden death. This was a disaster. This was complete fucking failure. It could have happened for only one reason. I deserved it. Without ever intending it, I lived to destroy. My pessimism had become lethal. In the heat of that shower I knew without knowing it that my wife and I would never last.
I guess that’s life.