You are not good at this. You’ve never been good at it; years of practice haven’t made it easier. Still, you know how to start, and once you’ve started you can keep on going.
I know I have said this before, and I will probably say it again as I am not and never have been
You crumple it up and start again. You’re doing this on paper, the old-fashioned way.
I know I have not followed the path you and Mother
Darn it to heck.
I know I’ve not followed the path you and Mother had hoped I would. When I was younger I thought of that as a form of deliberate defiance, rebellion, from a rule I did not want to follow. That was a childish stance.
I think I understand why you wanted me to follow in your footsteps: because it was safer. I have seen a great many people who are not safe since I left the family home and with every single one I realize again that I was luckier than I knew to have that home.
I’m not good with words, I never have been. But I wanted you to know that while you might not approve of my work here, it’s taught me a lot, and one of the things it has taught me is that fathers are important and can make a profound difference in a person’s life.
So I’m writing you this rather disjointed and poorly-worded letter to say: thank you, for all the support and encouragement you gave me, and that I hope one day we will both come to a place where you can again be proud of your son.
You stare at it for a while. It’s glurge, you know it’s glurge, but…maybe your father could use some glurge from time to time. You haven’t spoken to him in so long, and with every month that passes here you see the importance of family—whether it’s an importance that helps or harms, it’s undeniable. You think maybe he ought to know that.
Blast. You fold the letter up and seal it in an envelope before you can think better of it, and go to find a stamp.