This book is deeply personal, written in Dirk’s usual thoroughly engaging style, and provides us a glimpse into the inner workings of the man on the occasion of the birth of his son.
“A Story Of Fatherhood, Fate, And Forgiveness”
By Dirk Benedict
Narrated by Dirk Benedict
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One thing is certain, overdue or right on schedule, our baby is very very close to his planetary entrance……..”.
It was 1963, the summer before my freshman year at college. Cynthia, my high school sweetheart, and I were separated by 150 miles, as her parents had moved to Billings after our high school graduation. We hadn’t seen one another all summer. She was in town. It would be our last weekend together before we swore eternal devotion and went off to separate institutions of higher learning. All our friends would be there. All the hits of this pre-Beatle summer would be playing on the record player. Dancing, drinking, romancing, escaping…I couldn’t wait……..”
“….Four years of foreplay have led to this moment in this living room on this couch on this hot Montana summer night as we wrestle with our coital karma. Johnny isn’t helping things, as his sensual tenor croons to musical climax. The couch on which we writhe is wet with moisture from orifices we never knew existed. Her no’s, now a continual primitive chant, have become her sexual mantra. She waits, eyes closed, for me to seize the moment and take her, take us, into our future…..”
Toni has a contraction. I let my voice project as I begin to coach her through it. (After all, I am a classically trained stage actor. I know how to reach the balcony). Lo and behold, the Rip Van Winkle of home births raises her sleepy head from her pillow. I’m embarrassed for her. She isn’t. She seems quite content with herself, unfazed by her lack of professionalism in going to sleep on the job. If this were the military and she a sentry, she would be shot. I considered that option. She better not ask for dessert! She’s fortunate that I’m too tired and busy taking care of Toni to do anything but ignore her. She ignores us! Is she waiting for me to tell her what to do? Evidently not. She goes downstairs. That is, after all, where the refrigerator is. Is this a raid? I feel a tinge of anger. Let it pass…..”
“I do”, he said. And it would take him twenty-six years, but, by God and in spite of what he must have know was waiting, he would.
“Til death do us part,” he said. But death parts only the spirit from the body. It leaves all the conflict, rage, fear, and resentment just where they were–in the hearts and minds of the living.
My heart and mind resist, but my body follows my Father. I leave the backyard where we stood and follow the trail of his rage. To the back door of the house, through the shattered window of forced entry. Forced entry into the future and the bedroom and the blur that would become Me. I have followed him ever since. Through other shattered dreams and bloody broken windows of opportunity. Through heartbreak and carcinogenic nightmares……..”.
“Who?” asks Wu.
“Dirk Benedict. He theth your hith emergenthy backup,” says the Lisp.
“Been waiting for this phone call. Tell him I took a slow boat to China,” says Dr. Wu.
“I’m thorry, Dr. Wu ith out of town.”
“I said slow boat to China…Kick that arrogant Kamikaze Cowboy sonofabitch in those balls of his that he continually rubs in our faces. The two that got away! And now he wants us to deliver his baby?”
“If he’d lithened to hith doctor he wouldn’t be in thith meth.”
“That’s right. No balls, no babies. Tell him I can’t be reached.”
“Thorry. Dr. Wu didn’t thay where he could be reached.”
“Let’s just see wht those balls of his are made of.”
“Too bad. I loved that TV theries he did.”
“‘The A-Team’?. A cartoon. Wuss show. No one ever even got shot. No blood and no balls!”
“A wuth show? Gee, Dr. Wu, I thought he…it…had real ballth.”
“Get rid of him.”
Didn’t Dr. Wu get it? I was on his side. That is, the side of his forefathers. The side of Chinese medicine, with its Ayurvedic Indian roots and it’s Zen Japanese branches. Ah well, never trust an Occidental Oriental. They know too much. And anyway I’m making all this up, letting my imagination get the best of me. Maybe it is the best of me. Except…
Dr Wu is gone and he took the Glendale Hospital with him. I assess the situation. The situation assesses me, which is what situations do: assess us, appraise us, diagnose us, evaluate us. Tell us things about ourselves that, more often that not, we don’t want to know. Or remember…..”
“Put down the gun.”
It is my Father’s voice……..”