Images of my dad fighting with people

(First published in The Lifted Brow Issue 19, 2013)

Offers to drive me and my belongings from Brisbane to Melbourne. Surprised and upset when I say yes. Brings cookies and nine full days worth of music. Only plays first 40 seconds of each song so we can hear it all. Brings up politics he knows I disagree with. Claims this is merely a bid to raise my competitive spirits and help me grow as a person.

Takes me to golf shop when I’m visiting his home. Asks for thicker grips as per stranger’s advice: man hanging out at driving range to whom my dad paid fifty dollars in exchange for golfing lesson. Demonstrates his hold to shop assistant who is skeptical of stranger’s expertise. Tussles with shop assistant.

Walks down boulevard, past graffiti near his apartment. Furious at unknown vandals. Curses all vandals. Runs up and kicks wall.

Meets my boyfriend for first time. Brings up politics. Winks at me.

Complains loudly in queue at supermarket. Accuses lady standing behind him of bumping into him with shopping trolley. Has with him single jar of peanut butter that’s neither the brand (Kraft) nor consistency (smooth) that he wanted.

Inspired to eat ‘World’s Hottest Burger’ after seeing advertisement on television offering free t-shirts to participants. Decides to stop eating halfway through burger when realises he will not win. Refused t-shirt by burger official. Pulled from venue screaming, ‘I participated you fat bastard.’

Brings up the ‘World’s Hottest Burger’ incident every time I see him or talk to him over next eight months. Refuses to accept possibility that burger official was just doing his job. Sees someone he thinks might be burger official at restaurant when dining with myself and brother. Physically restrained by myself and brother. Seethes silently in front of television later that night.