Sorry for not getting you anything for Father's Day. I don't think you're into homemade cards and little drawings anymore.
I wonder what you're up to right now.
But the weird thing is, I don't miss you at all. When I see photos of my friends with their dads, the similarities in their smiles and body language, all I can think about is how different you are from me and how distant you are from my family.
I don't blame you for anything, because I grew up thinking like you, following your interests and dreams, and believing your sheepishness to be humourous and mistaking you as meek and understanding, but then I got older and realized you would never grow up.
It was nice having you home for a bit because the printer would always be working and the thermostat would be turned up higher than 20 degrees Celsius in the winter, but other than that there's nothing different around here without you.
Sometimes I try to picture you sitting in an office in a factory, or wearing a hardhat and drilling holes into something or other. I still have no clue what you're doing there, in another country, divided from us by an ocean and a half.
I heard you called us while I was still at UBC, so I never got to talk to you. We have each other on Facebook but we never say anything to each other, and I thought Facebook was banned in China, but I'm not too sure. I don't know anything, really.
Remember when you told me about Twitter and thought it was the most magical thing ever and I didn't tell you that I've been tweeting for almost a year already? It's okay, you're kinda old.
But not that old.
I don't know when you're coming back but it's fine if you don't. Or if you don't want to. No worries.
I wasn't raised by your affections and attention, and I grew up okay. Better than okay.
You are just a boy, still completely unsure of himself and still trying to find his place.
Your parents loved you and still love you but you ignored it all and ran away.
Thanks for driving me home from summer school for a whole month, and making dinner for a year when we first moved to the suburbs. Thanks for buying this laptop that I'm typing in right now, and referring me to my first job four years ago. Thanks for working graveyard shifts and three jobs and all that shit.
You're not perfect (no parent is perfect) but you worked really hard.
But you also made my mother sad and angry, made my sister cry, and quit your jobs out of haste and misplaced priority, and begged for other people's money without repaying them, even your friends and your parents who have little money to give.
I'm really grateful to have grown up here in Canada, and I know immigration is tough and getting tougher, and to have comforted myself with fictional characters from TV and books and movies, all of them harbouring even worse problems than me. It makes me feel safe to know that there are people out there living their horrible lives while I have the freedom to just read about them. It also makes me feel incredibly morbid.
Thanks for letting me grow up in a democratic country, and not caring about what I wear or what I do. This way, I know who I am even when I'm without you, dad.