Once My Hero
Hello World, another day has passed and if you are able to enjoy the rise of your eyelids from a restful night sleep or experience the satisfaction of a euphoric moment during an embrace with a love one, then you may agree with me and claim life as truly worth living!
If you would, please share with me a moment, so that I may evoke the weight of confusion from my thoughts. Just this past Tuesday (6/08/10), I offered my closest friend several hours of service by speaking with numerous people in hopes to help him become elected to the District 3 Seat of the Fresno, Ca City Council. That evening, while having dinner with my foster parents I felt like a proud adult and humbled by the efforts of my love ones. My closest friend (Oliver Baines) following his passion in life, hoping to become a public leader for which our community can depend on. The first adult man that I have ever trusted (Mike Darling) who became a father to me, I observed his interaction with staff and students at Wawona Jr. High school in Fresno Ca, at which he is the principal. His passion to help and lead others in a positive fashion was the greatest form of altruism I have witnessed in a long while. The confusion I mentioned prior is this, about 9pm that evening while walking into a band filled banquet hall, where many people were gathering to celebrate Oliver and his run for a City Council position, standing at the entrance was Thomas Tucker (my biological father) whom I have not seen or spoken to in over four years.
Over the past couple of years my closest friend Oliver has been sharing information with me regarding Thomas, who has become a Pastor and plays percussions in a band titling themselves, “Men of Promise”. Oliver has been involved in many community service projects where Thomas has attended as a supporter. Many of you who follow my articles may know that the California Social Services Department deemed Thomas an unfit parent when I was thirteen. After that I spent several years in different foster homes. I would like to think that I have left the negative issues and memories associated with Thomas in my past. For the most part I have, however, I am still the thirteen year old who once viewed Thomas as a Hero, then later a Base-Head.
Now, the word hero is odd for even my own mind to comprehend as it relates to Thomas, he taught me how to cook cocaine in the form of base rock also known as crack. I can elaborate and discuss how Thomas taught me how to observe one’s behavior for negative gain and even inflict physical harm on someone in hopes to obtain their valuable possessions, but, that is another read entirely. The point I’m trying to make is my impression of Thomas today as oppose to the codependent thirteen year old; I was when taken away from him.
Thomas greeted me with a huge hug that lasted long enough to be perceived as awkward. I did not receive it as such; as I assumed Thomas would always hold me as his child. While looking into the eyes of that sixty-eight year old man, my first thought was that of concern as I often took care of Thomas while he was high or experiencing withdraw. After I heard him say, “Hi Son”. He asked me to follow him; I assumed he was leading me to an area that was less occupied and quiet so that we may talk. After a few levels upon the elevator he lead me to the parking garage where he began boasting about his new car. I was not interested in a vehicle; I hoped he would speak of things related to the embrace that made me appreciate him as my biological father. I fully expected to see an old school Lincoln Continental or a Rag Top Cadillac, what was in front of me was a H3-Hummer sitting on 24 inch detailed chrome rims. I stood there listening to him discuss how he enjoyed his new car and while doing so I felt my demeanor change and heard his childhood instructions (BOY, DON’T STAND WITH YOUR BACK TO THE STREET. ALWAYS KNOW WHERE THE EXITS ARE NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE AND WHEN THAT FOOL STARTS TO GET LOUD, MAKE SURE THERE ARE NO WITNESSES AROUND BEFORE YOU DO SOMETHING). As his lips continued to move I noticed his white corduroy slacks and white shoes, ironically I also had on white colored slacks with cream shoes.
He wore a diamond-studded wedding band, “Are you Married, Thomas?” His answer was, “Yes for about three months now”. He then began to speak about his cell phone bill and how expensive it is, I got the impression that he was bragging. Then quickly, he excused himself, handed me his card which read “Pastor Thomas Tucker” and then drove off. I stood there undecided on how to accept the moment then walked back into a room full of cheering supporters for my closest friend.
An hour or so passed and while I was speaking to one of my fraternity brothers (Ric McCaster, nick-named purple black blue while we pledged together), a smile presented itself with an outreached palm; it was Thomas and this time he was with a woman who was clearly his junior by thirty to forty years. After he introduced her, he stood there looking away into the crowed with his chin high. She was awkwardly snuggled under his arm and rubbing his chest. He stood there with that posture for several minutes with out saying a word, yet his face wore a grin that I remembered as a youth when he would bring different woman home and announce them as the new lady of the house and potentially my new mother.
I once heard Dr. Maya Angelo say, “Bitterness is like Cancer, it eats upon the host”. Well fortunately, I have not been bitter towards Thomas for years, now I am just disappointed. I hope that doesn’t eat away at me.