Mask of comedy
by Christos Polydorou
When I grew up my father hardly spoke to me which is fine, because he gives everyone, not just me, a hard time. But in my formative years, I needed some affection from my father, which was withheld. Sad. So, instead, I came up with the idea of performance as a way to get love, but still, my father refused to even look at it. Darlings, I drew, I wrote, I sang, I swayed. I don’t wish to look at this effete boy in my living room. Oh daddy. Why do you love your Famous Grouse more than anything? Through the years I never needed him anyway, I barely thought of him, or spoke of him, so much that in the few instances in which I spoke about my father when asked about it I was genuinely surprised to remember that I had and have a father. Now that I am away from my land at sea like Ulysses with nothing to come home to, I find myself in unusual situations where the universe appears to be asking for my forgiveness for imposing upon me such a cold papa. Yesterday for example, I was hosting for a living like, in a beautiful Victorian dining room, and I received a mature couple from Brisbane, Australia, who fell in love with me, and I with them, as we made lots of quirky, oblique jokes together, laughing and enjoying our acquaintance. I found myself speaking to the man with such a need for any affirmation I had to stop myself. I heard myself laughing as he said that he understood how difficult it was for me to be a brilliant comedian out of place and out of time. I could not believe he opened his mouth and said that. I wanted to hug the man.
After he and his wife left I felt like I had just stepped off a rollercoaster of healing. I apologise for employing a bromide so close to the ending of this true story, but it really felt like I had been served up a tiny apology on the margins, and on the one hand it did not make me feel self-righteous, and on the other hand it is a little of something, but it is too late, I am beyond bitter and jaded now, I am beyond anchor and bow at this turn of time, I am being whipped by great winds that are taking me no where I have ever imagined, nor I ever could. Startled, with rage and wonder, at each real or imagined image, with a respectful audacity which is the only way to come down on what is coming down, so predatorily, on you. Father or not.