Stickman Readers' Submissions June 14th, 2016

A Letter To My Father – It’s Been 15 Years Since We Lost You


It's been 15 years now since you passed away. A lot has happened in the world and in my life since you've been gone. You've missed a lot. You know, the day you died was the saddest day of my life. I did my best to revive you of that you can be sure – the firemen told me the CPR I gave you kept you going until they got there but there was nothing they could do to save you. The coroner said your death was caused by atherosclerosis, meaning your arteries were really clogged up. His report said your lifetime of smoking was the reason your arteries were so clogged. Your massive heart attack was the inevitable end result. It's amazing isn't it how little things add up to one large end result? It wasn't the first cigarette that did it but those daily decisions you made as a pack a day smoker from the age of 18 over 55 years which slowly but surely clogged up your arteries and caused your heart attack and death. I guess you can't complain though. You lived to age 73 which many said was a good innings. You went out quickly as well. You didn't know what hit you. I know you always wanted to go like this and not be in some hospital somewhere and be a burden on your family. I know you would have killed yourself if you had found yourself in that situation.

He Clinic Bangkok

When you had that heart attack time stopped for me and it was like I had entered a dream. The moment I saw you drop to the ground I entered a different level of consciousness. It took two fire-fighters to pull me off you in the end. Blood was pouring down my knees when they stood me up. As you know there was still no floor on the construction site we were both working on and I did your CPR kneeling down on ruble. Cut my knees up really bad. You know I didn't even feel any pain. I can remember so many things from that fateful day. I had never entered such an altered, heightened emotional state before. I will never forget when I stepped out onto the front porch of grandmas house, crying my eyes out and looking up at the large Morton bay fig trees. The trees and the parkland looked dreamlike. The colours were so vivid. I guess that's the brains way of helping a human cope with such a significant emotional trauma – by flooding the body and mind with adrenaline and other hormones. Whilst the day you died was the worst of my life, your funeral was not much better. Both days hammered home to me that you were indeed gone and my life would never be the same again.

You lived long enough however to see me achieve my degree. You died so shortly thereafter. I guess you felt you had achieved your goals and had got me to the stage where I could start my life in the real world. I know seeing me on that stage receiving my bachelors degree in a hard science was the proudest moment of your life. The first person in your family to have ever gone to university. The first to earn a university degree. Your eldest son. Just 21 at the time.

You know mum took your death badly. She became impossible to deal with and this went on for years after you died. I begged her to get counselling but she wouldn't go. Her grief and resulting behaviour caused huge problems in the family which we are only now really recovered from and we still have serious issues. You were the rock – the one who held the family together. Your passing left a leadership vacuum. I was only 22 when you died and even though I am your eldest son – I wasn't in any way ready to take on the responsibilities of family leadership. It hasn't been easy trying to lead when I don't have the authority or the resources to make decisions and see them carried through. Many in the family don't seem to want my leadership despite how much they need it and despite me being the eldest and most highly educated of your sons.

CBD bangkok

As a hoarder you left us with a large estate. That oceanfront land you owned – selling it was the hardest thing I ever lead mum to do knowing it was your dream to retire there but it had to be done as she needed to reinvest in more appropriate assets that would generate an income for her. Speculators bought your land but it didn't work out well for them and they lost a lot of money on it. They couldn't build up on the sand dune to capture the magnificent views of the ocean. Council knocked that idea back as I knew they would. On the day of the auction even the local aborigines turned up dressed in traditional clothing. It was a carnival like atmosphere with hundreds of people in attendance. People were shocked at the crazy high price mum got for it. Selling off your land was the easy part though. It was everything else that that really took a lot of time and energy to sort through. I had to take the lead on this of course. My leadership duty as your eldest son. It took a long time and effort to sort through everything, sell off what I could and dump the rest. I dumped so much of your stuff dad. I had no choice – there simply wasn't a market for a lot of it. Mum was emotionally attached to every object. I couldn't get anything done due to her interference. Years rolled by. I have only just now finished disposing of your estate – 15 years after your death. It really did take that long before mum could be dealt with on any kind of rational level when it came to your stuff. You left us over a thousand books. I sorted through them carefully, identified what were rare and valuable and what were not. Ended up selling almost the whole lot to a book dealer. The rare and valuable books I sold individually. Got good prices for them. I just recently sold that diving pump of yours from the 1800's you never got around to restoring. It was so heavy I dug the garden up and destroyed a trolley trying to move it. It took three grown men to load it onto a trailer and even then it was a struggle. They don't make em like that anymore.

You know – selling your diving pump was one of my proudest moments. It was one of the most satisfying things I ever did although mum was very upset. She said I gave it away too cheaply. As I argued with her I kept thinking of your words that time you and her had that big argument “you're a greedy, grasping fucking woman!” She wasn't easy to deal with. The buyer of the pump is an expert on antique diving equipment. He restored it himself and he did a magnificent job. It's now bringing joy into the lives of many people on the regular diving rally's he and his team goes on. He sent me a video of your pump in operation at one of the diving rallies in Portsea and I emailed the link to one of your old workmates. He was stunned at the job the buyer did in restoring your pump. The expert in the United States I consulted with to determine a market price for it said I “certainly found the right buyer and got a great end result”. Everyone who has seen your pump in operation said I should be very proud to have sold it to such a talented man. I am proud you know that. As difficult as it was dealing with mums emotional manipulations over this I know I found the right buyer and did the right thing. She claimed she was going to restore it herself. Can you imagine? A 70 year old woman with no experience in such matters. I think she might be losing it. One of your old mates remarked to me a while ago “You know your father was the brains of that outfit”.

I should probably get around now to what I really want to say to you. The reason why I'm writing this letter to you on the 15th anniversary of your death. You see – things haven't worked out like you planned. With me that is. I have to tell you honestly – I am not the man you raised me to be.

It's only really now at age 37 that I understand myself that I can see this fact with enough clarity to make any sense of what has happened to me in my personal life. The choices that I have made that conflicted badly with the choices you wanted me to make. Choices which I did make originally but which caused me so much pain, anger and resentment. You raised me to work hard, to do the right thing, to tell the truth, keep my promises, to strive for success, to be achievement focus. This is me to be sure. You taught me to study hard, go to university, get a good job, do well in my career, get married and raise a family. It's the last part that has caused me such difficulty, problems and pain. Everything else went to plan. You know women. The way they are. This is what I couldn't get past no matter how much I tried. I just couldn't keep it together with any one of them. Sure I could put on a show for a few years but I never really felt fulfilled being with them. My last fiancé was a bitch to be sure. I simply couldn't stand the thought of staying with her for a lifetime. The nagging, bitching, complaining, sarcasm and belittling was just too much for me to take in the end. I kicked her to the curb and never looked back. Although not everything was bad with her. I consider her to be a righteous woman for having that abortion for without her doing that I would be in a very difficult situation these days.

wonderland clinic

Now here's the thing father and I think you should sit down before I go any further.

Three and a half years ago after I broke up with my ex I went to Thailand for a two week holiday. It was there that I had my first sexual experience with a ladyboy. You're shocked I know. Who would have thought huh? Your son is not the straight man you thought he was. If you were alive today to hear me say these words I know you wouldn't be happy about it.

A few years before you died dad a film was made about a sexually frustrated suburban father by the name of Lester Burnham who has a mid-life crisis after becoming infatuated with his daughter's best friend. American Beauty is the name of the film. It's one of the greats. I really wish you could have seen it before you died. There is a particular scene in it which makes me think of you. Ricky Fitt's and family lives next to the Burnham's. Like yourself – his father Colonel Frank Fitt's is a proud military man. The way he is with his son reminds me so much of the way you were with me except you weren't a violent man. The particular scene which is so powerful is when Colonel Frank Fitt's believes Ricky is having sex with Lester Burnham. He isn't but they get into a big argument and Frank Fitt's tells his son he would rather him be dead than be a fucking faggot. Ricky then tells his father he sucks dick for money. He makes $2,000 each time he's that good. And he should see him fuck. He's the best piece of ass in three states. His father tell him to get out and he never wants to see him again. Ricky eyes the Colonel. He's finally discovered a way to break free from his father, and he can't believe it was this simple. You were sexually repressed Dad. You were – let's be honest about it or else – why were you never open about the important topic of sexuality? Why did I have to learn myself all the intricacies of human relationships? You lived a long life and you knew about people – they way they were. You could have imparted more wisdom to me in this regard. You never spoke about sex. You never spoke about love. I never saw you kiss your wife, my mother. The only times you ever really showed any emotion was on Anzac day. I can't imagine what you must have witnessed during the Korean war. You saw so much of human nature. The best and the worst of it.

I know you would be proud of my achievements professionally my father but it's my personal life that I'm sure you would take issue with these days. I don't think you could ever forgive me for what I have done. I am the leader you brought me up to be of this you can be sure but I'm living on the edge in my personal life. I can imagine how upset you would be with me father because here's the thing. In Thailand – I don't suck dick for money – I pay money to suck dick. I can imagine were you still alive to hear me say these words, I know it's something you could never come to terms with. Just think about the implications of what I just said. If you were alive today I know that you would be very angry at me. Given you are dead I think you would be rolling in your grave. What I have done would not make you proud of me for after all – I'm paying money for something that men are desperate for and give away for free. But hey – the money I pay goes to help my ladyboy partners and it also helps improve the lives of their underprivileged families living back in the village in Isaan.

Let's talk about what led me to engage in such behaviour…

I had lost all hope with western women. That's why I came to Thailand in the first place. I had experienced a lot of pain in the relationships with western women back home in our western society. So much has changed in society since you were alive. Much of the way you brought me up didn't prepare me for the world I was to inhabit. Your old school depression era values conflicted with the values of the people around me. You raised me to be a good provider but I only found women who told me they didn't really need a man. Seems that only the feminists were attracted to me – the older, bitter, fatter, angry women other men didn't want to deal with. The women who supposedly had it all but couldn't find what their hearts really desired because the alpha males didn't want highly educated, opinionated, bitchy women like them. The alphas wanted women young, fertile, feminine, deferential, respectful and polite who could cook, clean and look after a home and help raise a family. Women without bad attitudes. Women who knew who to treat a man decently.

The way I saw it dad – I had been down the monogamy path twice before and it didn't work out well for me. The women I was with had been passed over by richer, more powerful men than myself so these women had settled due to having no other options – for me. No wonder they were miserable for after all, imagine how bad it must be for a woman who has been raised since birth by her parents and society at large to believe she can have it all and then to have to settle for me, poindexter in the IT department. An average guy. Low status even. Who drives an old car and lives in a rented house. Who to the outside world doesn't seem to have anything but has saved and invested over four times his income (which is not bad for age 37 in comparison to many). How fickle is woman – judging men so much on their social status and external wealth and not for who the man is inside. You knew this father. You knew women well but you were never the greatest guiding hand in this regard. I guess that's why you always jokingly said to me “stay away from women”. Who would have thought it would be former men who would be the greatest source of pleasure I have ever experienced in my life.

I have been making regular twice yearly trips to Thailand father. These Thailand trips have changed me. I cannot see myself ever being back in a relationship with a woman. My heart and my mind have been forever changed by what I have experienced in the land of smiles. I have felt such great pleasure, experienced such wonderful joy as well as intense sorrow and pain being away from the place. The man I am today at 37 is so very different to the young man you knew me as when you died at age 73 – when I was just 22. Nothing is the same anymore. These 15 years without you have been newly formative years. If you had lived longer I probably would not have had the strength or courage to look deeply within myself and made that first trip to Thailand to try going with a ladyboy. For after all – if you were alive to have judged what I was thinking of doing you would not have liked it. The mere thought of having sex with ladyboys whilst you were alive to judge me would have stopped me from making that first fateful trip. It's only because you are dead that I was able to take such actions but even then – back in 2012 I needed to sit at your grave and tell you what I was about to do. That I needed to do it and I wasn't seeking your permission or your blessing. That this is the way it was going to be and I was taking ownership and responsibility for my soon to be life altering decision.

Dad – you were a good father despite your issues. I wanted for nothing growing up. You raised us to have all the things you never had. You were brought up in a poor household but you achieved a middle class living for us. You were a great provider and a great protector. I am neither of these things. You raised me to value knowledge, education and wisdom but the problem now is I feel I have seen, experienced and yes – maybe even know a little too much about the nature of men and women to function appropriately in western society. There's that word again – appropriate. I have heard it used so many times in reference to me, my words or my behaviour in life. But it's a made up word – by those in power to control those of us without power. To act and behave in ways that further their interests at the expense of our own. You know it was only ever the feminist types of women – fatter women, older women, women with issues that were really into a sensitive, considerate and intelligent man like me. It was never the beauty queens, the slim, the ultra beautiful women – they went for the thugs and bad boys. After all – I never made women feel secure and guys like that did and security as we know is number one for women. How appropriate is that?

I have come to the conclusion in my life that I can't do what you did dad. I can't live a life of sticking my head in the sand, keeping quiet, waiting until pay day and working til I drop. I believe my destiny is elsewhere. I fear however that your legacy will end with me. That your genes will not pass on to the next generation. Your ideas however – now that's another story. What is your legacy to me? You were a highly intelligent man. I inherited your intelligence – that was your greatest gift to me. I'm not sure where I got my height from – maybe your father as he too was lean and tall. Your wisdom was another gift. As a much older father you embodied within me your ideas, your values, your hopes, your dreams as well as your insecurities from a time long past. People say I'm a reasonably good writer dad. My boss at works tells me I'm making people re-evaluate their lives so I guess I can be reasonably outspoken as well when I want to be even though I'm an introvert. It seems I must be having an impact on those around me. My bosses at work have issues with me because they have difficulty controlling me. You had this problem too I know because I heard from you all the problems you had with your bosses at work whilst I was growing up. Have I gone off the rails do you think? Or have I discovered another path – a truer and more righteous path for me. A path less travelled.

By my actions – the results I have had on this world in comparison to my brothers I know I inherited your intelligence and your work ethic. These gifts could be valuable in Thailand. It's the silver screen that's beaconing father. I believe that someone with my mind could be a force for good in the land of smiles and bring hope, joy and opportunity to the third gender and to the western men that love them. There's opportunity to help many others with the gift of writing. What about the Thai people? The poor bargirls – the ladyboys I'm interacting with that have captured my heart. What opportunities are possible when we come together? What can I do to help them? Can I build a bridge between our two cultures? I'm almost certainly going to use my writing talents to write screenplays and then should I ever come into any of your inheritance – the opportunity will present itself to bring the screenplays to life in the land of smiles. All the worlds a stage and what an exotic stage it is in Thailand. To be able to capture on film what's available in the hearts of the Thais could be valuable to so many a western man with an interest in Thailand. A local business on the ground could round out the story – a bar or a philosophers cafe could become a meeting place for all the western men who like my ideas and what I stand for.

Mum inherited your wealth which is what you wanted but I haven’t seen one dime of it which is fine by me. You would be proud that behind the scenes I have worked tirelessly as a guiding hand – a power behind the throne and have helped mum build your wealth into an even bigger fortune. It hasn't been easy as she's not the easiest person to work with as you know. Just as your old friend said – you were the brains of that outfit. I have tried hard to bring her knowledge of business and investing up so she understands what she is doing. As difficult as it has been, I have tried to teach her to fish so she can eat for a lifetime.

Let me bottom line it for you – I have found happiness in Thailand Dad. I found it in the hearts of the Thai people. I never knew just how romantic men were until I fell in love with a ladyboy. Why didn't I understand our genders sacrifices before? It's like I was blind. I just couldn't see it. Now I see it so very clearly. I see things that are invisible to most other people. It's like I have a greater appreciation for the male of the species and a greater suspicion of the female. I have found some small measure of success as a writer and video producer. My fans value me more than anyone else in my life and that includes my old friends. Who ever would have thought that it would be strangers – men in the general public, men I don't know, who would become my greatest source of strength. Through my writings I have made an impact on many men around the world. I know because they write to me and tell me as such. Some have told me that I have changed their lives.

I'm not ashamed of the things I have done with the ladyboys in Thailand dad. I have decided to live a life of freedom – on my own terms. In so many ways I'm not interested in living the life you brought me up to live. I don't want to be under the control of a boss. I think I would have made a pretty good criminal mastermind but like yourself I'm too honest for that. Am I a deviant for behaving in the manner I have with the ladyboys of Pattaya? Maybe. Definitely according to most of polite society. How far off the straight and narrow path have I wandered? I'm not an alpha male and will never be one so I will never get the beautiful women I want. I don't make women feel protected. That's another strike against me. Seems my fair skin, blonde hair, green eyes and fit and muscular body attracts more men to me than women. I don't show off my wealth to women so I live under their radar.

I could never be a politician. I'm too honest for that. That's your doing. Your influence on me. You always were an honest man. To a tee. My writings here of course would also prevent me from ever running for political office. Someone would find out eventually who I was. Also – how many openly bisexual politicians are there? People don't trust bisexual men. I guess they have good reasons for this for after all – a man who has experienced sex with ladyboys knows just how boring sex is with genetic women in comparison. What woman could trust a man who sucks dick? What woman would feel secure with such a man knowing that men are driven so much by sex? If sex is easy for her man to gain elsewhere – why would he do the things she wants him to do – to be a good worker and provider for her in return for sex. What woman could control such a man?

You never knew me as an adult dad. I hope this essay helps to fill you in on the last 15 years of my life. I know overall you would be proud of the man I am today and I hope that with time you would come to understand and accept the different path I'm walking. It's a path that some western men have walked before me. It's a dangerous path strewn with the wreckage of many a western man. A path that brings me into close contact with pimps, prostitutes, alcohol and some quite unsavoury people but also extraordinary people and at times – a criminal element. This is the way it has to be though. Ladyboys have few employment options so of course being with them is going to bring other problems which could cause me grief. I accept this with the understanding that I would rather walk a difficult path with obstacles. A high risk path in order to share what's in the hearts of the ladyboys than to walk a comfortable path in the western world to share what's in the hearts of the western women that are available to me with their resulting dissatisfaction at with me being the man they are settling for. To be sure there are things I have lost since coming to Thailand. Respect from colleagues is one thing. I have lost former friends but gained newer – greater friends who share similar interests. A wise man once said that life is fleeting. Jarod from The Pretender TV series said life is a gift. Another said that all relationships are temporary. Anyone who does any amount of introspection will clearly see and in time will come to understand these things.

Solitude over the past three and a half years has helped me to understand myself so much better dad. I had to live alone and be alone to do this work. I now know myself better than you ever did and with this understanding comes great potential. The potential to help others. To show others a different way of life so they too can find in their hearts what I found in Thailand. Maybe that's my gift. Awakening other men. Men who only really needed a light – a guide to show them the way. These men were already looking for alternative options. They were already dreaming of a different path. On this path I will never know what its like to hold a child of my own in my arms. But it's my ideas once embodied in products or services that could have the most value to humanity. As a single, childless man I'm free to forge my own destiny but this destiny is almost certainly not in the country where I grew up. I have lost hope in my own society. Thailand beckons. It's calling for me. It already has my heart. I'm caught between two very different worlds.

I'm not a bureaucrat dad. You never were either even though just like myself you worked for the government. My actions indicate this. I may work a government day job but I'm not really one of them. They know it and I know it. Look at the things I have achieved in areas other than my job. By their deeds you shall know them – by your own deeds you shall know yourself. As the years roll by I'm getting closer to what I see as the inevitable conclusion to the path I have been walking – ex patting to Thailand. I'm spending month long periods of time in Thailand and each trip is better than the last. I have been building up a support network in Bangkok and Pattaya. I have local friends that accept me for who I am. The only thing that is preventing me from staying in Thailand permanently is business ties in Australia and money. My heart yearns for Thailand but gaining freedom for myself will come at the expense of the people I would be walking away from who have embodied in me 16 years of professional scientific expertise. How does a man weigh up giving up his profession for a new life in a completely different culture? Choosing and gaining a lot of freedom for oneself but at great expense to others.

So father were you alive today what advice would you give me? To take the road less travelled that could lead to some incredible experiences and a great life or the road everyone else travels – which will lead me back for a third lesson – a lesson I feel I have learned the hard, painful way twice already.

You know Dad it was only due to the sacrifices you made in your life that I was able to look within my heart and live a life true to myself. Without your pioneering ground work – I would not have had the opportunities I have had in life as I would not have been able to engaged in them without a first generation like you who laid the all important foundations for me to build upon. I would never have achieved what I have without you and your guidance, your knowledge and your wisdom. We all build on the work the generations performed before us. Thank you for all that you were. Your genes and your ideas live on within me and I'm going to use my gifts to help others.

What could my a person with mindset achieve in collaboration with the Thais in Thailand?

Rest in Peace Father.


nana plaza