His Name is Bob

Published on 10 March 2023 at 16:43

I have very vague memories of my young childhood days. The memories I do have come in pieces. Like pieces to a puzzle that I try to connect but the pieces do not always fit. Sometimes I wonder how many are true memories and how many are there because someone else told me or I saw it in a photo. See, my memories are not as crystal clear as those of my oldest sister. Her ability to remember things is like that of an elephant. Yes, I said elephant. Science says that elephants have great memories. See, my sister can remember fine details and with great clarity. I think I am glad I cannot remember as much as her. What I do remember is enough to make me wonder how I turned out so “normal” if normal is even a thing. A better word is probably functional. 


My earliest memories are of a man. His name is Bob. Bob is the man who took part in my creation. Yes, I refer to him as Bob. You see Bob was not a permanent fixture in my life. So he was only “daddy” for a short number of years. I do not have very many memories of Bob. Just a few here and there. Like the intense blue of his eyes and how they were always wide. Almost like that look of surprise when someone sneaks up on you and you are startled and about to go into attack mode. They were intense eyes. Almost a little frightening yet somehow comforting at the same time.


I do recall how desperately I wanted to be loved by Bob. I wanted to be daddy’s little “gril.” Yes, I know I spelled girl wrong! The incorrect spelling is how I wrote it in a story I had done for school. I had written “I am daddy’s little gril.” That is a common misspelling for young children in case you didn’t know. Anyway, I truly wanted him to love me. And maybe someplace deep down he did. But I was never daddy’s girl.


Now Bob did spend time with me. I have memories of being in a room with him and other people.I loved these times together.  I remember how I liked to watch the bubbles in the blue bowl. I wonder now if that is why blue is my favorite color. I just know I was fascinated with the bubbles being made. I would just watch them and feel calm. I also remember Bob showing me how to put this stuff that looked like dried up grass, with a funny smell, into this little thin white square paper. You see that’s what he and the other people in the room would sit and do. I remember how he would bend over, fill the paper, roll it real tight, lick it and then roll the last bit shut.. One time he even let me lick the little white paper before he rolled it closed. These were the times I spent with Bob….in a cloud of smoke.


It wasn’t until 5th grade when we did D.A.R.E, which was very popular during the 80s and 90s, that I realized Bob was smoking weed. He was teaching me how to roll a joint. Oh, and the blue bowl with bubbles was not a bowl at all. It was a bong! I remember feeling guilty almost like I had done something wrong.  Then I wondered if other kids in my class had this same experience. I also remember how I wore this beautiful clip in my hair to school one day. It had feathers that hung down on brown leather. I now know that it was a “roach” clip. The thing Bob used to smoke his joints all the way down and so it wouldn’t burn his fingers. Maybe that clip is why I love feathers.


As an adult, when I look back at my first birthday photo I think to myself….I was likely high as a kite for most of my early years! In this photo my eyes are big, a little crossed, and I am just zoning out at the candle. Other than these special moments learning how to roll a joint, I really do not have any solid memories of Bob. My desire for him to be my “daddy” changed when he and my mom divorced. See he disappeared from our lives. Almost as if we never existed. Then when we moved to Ohio, we never heard from him again until I was a young adult. He came to visit us kids (really he was there to try and hook up with my mom) and was offended when we were standoffish. He left all mad. I did not care. To me he was not dad. He was just a man who helped to create me. He didn’t, and still doesn’t, deserve that title. He is alive somewhere out there. I doubt he even remembers my full name. I am grateful that Bob gave me life (and possibly my love of blue and feathers).


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Karen Dodson
a year ago

Beautiful and sad at the same time. I pray you have forgiven Bob. Not for him, for yourself. I love you.

a year ago

Thanks for sharing. Great piece of work. Please continue.