Writer's Commentary: I Wish I Felt Nothing

On Post: I Wish I Felt Nothing

Date: January 22, 2013

Find it here 

Your subconscious can sometimes pull one over on you and I’m pretty sure that’s what happened here. I wrote an entire post based on a Wallflowers song—headed by Jakob Dylan, scion of Bob Dylan who you might know as a famous musician—about an uncomfortable father-son relationship. And I did it without contemplating their relationship at all. Yet, as I re-read it now, I have a hard time believing that some portion of my mind made the connection, even if it never bothered to give me a specific head’s up. Remember, never trust your mind. That thing’s always messing with you.

I wanted to steer clear of romantic relationships with this, probably in part because the song so clearly pushing for that. Also, as long as I was resisting the story’s natural push, I also wanted to somewhat subvert the trope of the cold, distant dad. The song, about trying not to feel anything while feeling it all, was a nice springboard for that character creation.

Thus, the dad I create is in fact SO sensitive that his son’s unfortunate accident with an old crib that led to noticeable, but largely superficial, wounds make him incredibly unnerved. So unnerved, in fact, that he feels if he is himself, he will not be able to be a good dad. If he goes cold, if he feels nothing—at least outwardly—it might mean less hugs from his son, but it was also mean he won’t be paralyzed by his feelings. He’s sacrificing his nature to be the father he believe he’s supposed to be. The result, of course, is that he does protect himself and he does go on to work, provide, and raise good kids, but they all grow up “missing” him long before he dies.

"I am a very warm and loving father. Why is everyone always asking me that?!" the music legend demanded in a heartbroken tone. (photo from www.thestranger.com)

"I am a very warm and loving father. Why is everyone always asking me that?!" the music legend demanded in a heartbroken tone. (photo from www.thestranger.com)