Every year I write a letter to my father on Father’s Day and on his birthday (August 7th). It’s my way of staying connected to him, and some of you have reached out to let me know that these have helped you as fellow members of the same club no child ever wants to join. Air hugs from me to you.
I had coffee, today for you.
I have coffee everyday, I know. It’s my vice, I got it from you. Of all the terrible vices in the world, I’d say I got a pretty decent one. But I got a large coffee after work, and I sat down and read with it. I savored it. It was worth it. I’m rereading A Cook’s Tour. I always liked it more than Kitchen Confidential even though I liked them both.
Anthony Bourdain died, Daddy.
“He, what? Anthony Bourdain? The chef with the travel show?”
“Yes, daddy. He. Yeah.”
“Well. Let’s hope he is at peace, now. He did good things for people. Depression is a terrifying disease.”
He did good things for the world. I got you his books whenever he wrote one. I always tore it apart from front to back before I could give it to you, trying to hurry and read it before Christmas or your birthday or Father’s Day. I won an autographed copy of Medium Raw and gave it to you. I accidentally spilled coffee on a couple pages and kept apologizing.
“Well, honey it’s a book. It’s not supposed to be put in a china cabinet.”
I’ve gotten back into improv. I found a good place with good people. I made some friends. You’d love Amy and Randy the most. You’d think they were hilarious and want to just listen to them. Weirdly it’s made me want to work harder on my sketch work. I have an idea I’m really proud of for a sketch revue. I don’t know if it will ever go anywhere. Maybe one day.
“Is it like one of the Kids in the Hall shows?”
“Kinda. A lot of it is weird like them. That’s what I like a lot. Maybe some Mighty Boosh, too.”
“The Mighty what? The Mighty Bush?”
“No, Dad. The Mighty Boosh.”
“Bush? George Bush? The president?”
“Sigh. No, Daddy. The Mighty Boosh. They’re British. I love them.”
“Oh, okay. Well, if they’re British I’m sure they’re good. Monty Python was British, you know that.”
“I do. I like them, too.”
It’s almost half way done. I’m very proud of it. Maybe I’ll ask Kerrigan if she has any ideas of what I could do with it. I think you’d like it. I’m working really hard on it. I think I’ve found my style, now. Sweetly dark. I think it fits me.
I did stand-up, too. I wasn’t scared, but I was very nervous. I heard your hearty laugh at one point. I had to stop for a second to see if you were there. Maybe it was just Lance I heard. You’d like him, too. He’s very sweet, and he’s very funny. I’m excited to do it again. I can’t wait.
I’m writing for a magazine now. I love it so much. It makes me so happy. I’m so proud of myself. I wrote a piece about Infinity War. I’m still most proud of that one.
“Oh, that’s the superhero thing with Robert Downey Jr?”
“Yes, Dad. And Guardians of the Galaxy. And Black Panther. It was so good.”
“The who and the what?”
“The guy from Parks and Recreation and the lady from Walking Dead.”
“Oh, okay. How is Robert Downey doing? Is he okay?”
“I assume good. I’ll text him on Facebook.”
“Honey, you don’t text on Facebook, you message.”
“I know, Dad.”
I would tell you about the Anthony Bourdain piece I’m working on right now and how genuinely difficult it has been for me. You would remind me to take my time, take a break if I need to. You would remind me what Bourdain did in that words are so important, and you would tell me that someone somewhere might need what I’m writing. Words are so important.
I’m stressed out, Dad. I’m trying my best to find a full time job and it’s hard and I just. I panic and get scared when no one is looking because that’s what I do. You would take my computer from me and tell me to take a break. Go to Starbucks and get one of those Frappe things. You would remind me that I’m no good to anyone if I don’t take care of myself for five minutes. I would listen.
I would listen long enough to get my computer back and go back to work.
I’m still trying to be better about the importance of self-care on myself. But it’s hard.
Jesus Christ it is so hard.
But I’m trying. I promise.
You would remind me that’s all anyone can ever do.
I miss you, Dad. I graduated college and I got the best internship I could imagine and I did a show with people I love and admire and I did a show all by myself and fuck I wish you were here to see it.
Thank you for always being the best dad I could have ever asked for. I miss you. I love you.
Caps won the Stanley Cup, by the way. That was pretty dope.
– Ash Michele.