A Modern Indignity

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About David Perez

David Perez lives in New York and wears a belt that reads 'FOR SALE' in LED lights at all times. You can talk to him about anything on Twitter @ContrarioMan.


  1. Numbness is still a response. And he DID miss out. Your mom rocks.

  2. olaitan says:

    Life is so complex. What you have written is real and moving. Thank you.

  3. Thank you for telling your truth. Very good writing.

  4. Yes, David. He missed out. First for his initial absence and again for his inability to recognize or embrace all that is you when the Universe saw fit to give him a second chance. But that is his cross to bear, not yours. But it is good for you to, at least, know the truth now than to wonder all your life. You know I speak from first-hand knowledge on the subject. Great writing. You’re a great guy!!!!

  5. nameless, in a sense says:

    You have lived my life. By the time I was in my 20s I was driving home from work balling my eyes out over the fact that I missed some one I had never met, and whom I wasn’t even certain would want to meet me. I drove across three states to get to the college where my father and mother attended, and there I talked my way into the library and got a copy of the alumni directory out of the hands of the reference librarian. I sent a letter. It was 1998 and no social sites, yet. He called me back, tentatively, openly saying that he wondered if I was calling him because I wanted something. Something! As if wanting a father isn’t enough! We talked by phone for a couple of years and then I was invited to his wedding to his new wife, and I went in with an internal bag of fear and hope and anger and need. It was a decent time, though the first few seconds of face to face meeting and the dinner that followed were the scariest moment of my life. I was afraid that I was going to throw up at the table. I was so nervous and sick. Luckily the wedding festivities were enough of a distraction and we didn’t visit much that weekend. There were a couple of creepy moments at the reception when his family said, “you look like one of us, are you related?” I have a different last name and wasn’t sure what to say. I didn’t know how to answer them. After that we stayed in touch only in terms of light polite contact by phone until I went into therapy and decided that I needed more. So I started asking him for advice. I turned him into a mentor. We did the DNA test verification thing to ease his worries about that and I saw him then as we did the test. It was a brief visit but things were better. Then we went five years with only a few phone calls. He had to process the fact that yes, I am his son. We became facebook friends and I watched his life and his kids with a mix of pride, anger, sadness, and sometimes real happiness. After five years of just FB and phone contact, a recent weekend trip together has brought us closer. It is a hard road. Every step of the road has eaten at me and been incredibly difficult. Fathers are supposed to be in your life, and you shouldn’t have to track them down and tell them that you missed them during your childhood. And they seem to never understand that they really were in the son’s life, in spite of their absence, as a ghost, as a haunting presence that took every projected fear and doubt and twisted life.
    Anyway, slowly but slowly things have grown a little better for me. I hope that they improve for you, that you and your father can build something. Good luck, whatever happens. Thanks for posting this. It hit me like a punch to the gut because I recognized so much of what you wrote. Good luck.


  1. [...] mostly, he didn’t bother so I won’t. David Perez went and found his father and though the story is well written and touching, I kind of feel like I don’t need to rewrite that one. I’ve always thought a meeting [...]

  2. [...] year passed, and we shook hands. I went to Paris to start grad school, and all sorts of nonsense went on. There were times where I did not leave the apartment for days at a time, but I survived and was a [...]

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