“I hate my dad. I hate him so much.”

His dark brown eyes glared at me over our expensive burgers in the foodcourt, ears as hungry as mouths.  We were halfway through a conversation about our fathers.

I twisted my lip and took a breath.

“We all try and compensate for our dads.  It’s the circle of life isn’t it?  Trust me, we – I, don’t get it right all the time, and we hope the next generation improve. But I don’t hate my dad.  I had to make peace with his shortcomings years ago.”

“I think about what I do for the mini men – stuff my dad didn’t do for me, but I can bet you now that there will be stuff I haven’t done and they will take issue with me on it.”

He took a bite and looked for my eyes “Yeah, but he is lazy, he didn’t want to have, or work, for anything beyond just living”.

I wiped my mouth with the serviette. “Maybe he thought coming to Sydney from a war torn country was the best existence – he and his family were safe.  Maybe that was the end of the line for him?”

“I can’t imagine having to leave Sydney if there was a war here.  To pack up the kids and move somewhere I don’t want to be.  To struggle with the language, not swim in the beaches, not live in the house I’ve made my home…”

“He is depressed, he gets depressed…”

“I can imagine he is,” I quietly console.

“This is probably his ultimate life. From here on in, it’s up to you to live your ideal.  You can’t expect him to live to your expectations of life…’” I smiled at my friend over the table “…this is a bit intense for lunch time, isn’t it?”

We walked down to the street and we prepared to part ways.  We clapped hands as awkwardly as we looked.  “Hey, you have a good weekend, and let’s have a night catch up soon… you can cook the chook,” I watch his smile.

I walked down the street back to work and thought about the conversation.  Hate born from hate in a roundabout way.  Love for a dad, conditionally.  Maybe another way to look at this was that there is a single solution for both he and his dad as well as the fatherland.

Peace.

INFO: You can follow John Meyer on Twitter: @daddydearest_ and on Facebook: DaddyDearest

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