The coffee grinder started whirring away in the kitchen triggering a Pavlovian reaction to kick off the covers and get my ass out of bed. It was clearly going to be a beautiful day but for some reason, I just didn’t feel like being a part of it. Something was bothering me and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

Ray was sitting there checking his email when I shuffled into the office. He kissed me as I sat down at my computer. I felt numb and mildly cranky. As my eyes scanned over a couple of emails, Ray started to exercise. I could hear him huffing and puffing behind me. It was annoying — like a secondary alarm clock reminding me that I not only had to regain consciousness, now I had to start exerting a lot of energy.

After taking a healthy swig of my coffee, I mustered up every amount of energy I had to dismiss Mr. Fuck it (that’s the voice in my head that says, “Fuck it, you don’t have to <insert important activity> today.”) I got on the floor and started doing my push-ups.

Mr Fuck it got in my head and would not shut up.

“Why do you even bother working out? You don’t bulk up. You’ll always pretty much look the same.”
“Oh ha ha, now you’re doing curls. Your arms will always look skinny. It’s not going to happen.”
“Squats?? You’re a joke — a flabby-assed joke. You. Have. No. Butt.”
“Perfect Push-ups? Ha! Perfect loser. Face it, your never going to look any different — never.”

I continued my workout while trying my best to ignore Mr. Fuck it. Not an easy task for a man who has struggled with lifelong self esteem issues. My thoughts wandered off and before I knew it, Ray and I were in the car heading to work.

“I’m feeling really discouraged today,” I said. “Why do I do all this working out and running when I don’t see any real results?”

Ray was sympathetic and reminded me that he sees the results and that I just need to not think about it — kind of like waiting for a pot of water to boil. I needed to stop examining myself under a microscope and let the results happen.

I got into work and fired up my computer. I had this longing for someone to talk to. Someone like a guru or a spirit guide. Someone who knew me inside and out and could understand me…like a father. I looked at my calendar. It was July 15th, my dad’s birthday. He would have been 80.

Mr. Fuck it started laughing. It all made sense now. I was depressed.

I was never close to my father. We got to know each other in the last few months of his life. He passed away in December of last year. Turns out he was quite a great guy. Too bad I didn’t find out until he was dying.

I was adopted when I was four months old. I grew up in a loving family and had wonderful caring parents but for most of my life, I have wondered about the biological side of my existence. Where did I come from?

When I was 29, I found my birth mother and was surprised to find that I had siblings. It was interesting to meet her but I still felt as if an important piece of the puzzle was missing — my biological father.  Who contributed to the male side of me? My bio mom said that I look and sound just like my father and that he was a great guy but…who was he?

I fear that I will never be able to solve that piece of the puzzle. Today, being reminded of the death of my father by the date of his birth also galvanized the fact that I will probably never know my birth father (who, by the way, was described in my adoption records as having a muscular build — perhaps he could have given me training tips).

My birth father was 32 when I was born 44 years ago. If he was still alive, he’d be 76. My birth mother claims his name was Charles Long. When she told me that, it didn’t sound too convincing. He was married with children. She might not want me to find him. I can understand why…I guess. They met at Probst Tool and Die in Burbank, California. He was a machinist and she was a punch-press operator. Her name at the time was Kathy Dix. It was 1965. I was put up for adoption the following year.

Did I just give out too much personal information? I don’t know… perhaps I was just hoping that maybe, just maybe, if I put it out there, someone might be looking for me…

5 Thoughts on “Goodbye Dads

  1. Marie on 15/07/2010 at 12:29 PM said:

    Wow, great post. Thanks for sharing it. Well-written, engaging, thoughtful. Keep searching…

  2. I adopted two Korean orphan girls (as infants, two and a half years apart) and raised them as a single gay father. I made lots of Korean culture, food, etc available to them and eventually my younger daughter’s Korean family contacted the adoption agency, not to get her back or cause any problem but just to make sure everything had turned out OK for her. We made quite a wonderful family and when I finally met THE man, they embraced him and now refer to us as Daddy 1 and Daddy 2.

    I understand your depression completely, but hope that the “loving family . . . wonderful caring parents” who helped you to become the fine man you are today will help you through, along with Ray’s love. I know the old expression, but in some cases I truly believe water can be thicker than blood. Gay men are champs at constructing alternate visions of family. Best of luck, Cobban.

  3. Tell Mr. Fuck It to fuck off! Your active lifestyle is something to be looked to. I read about your daily runs, your reps, the work you do on your property and it inspires me to move. I love your hard-body! You are one of the fittest men I know. Skinny? Nope! Long and lean is more like it. Your genes are the fit and fabulous genes that most of us wish we had, no matter where they came from. You are wonderful and Mr. Fuck It needs to shut up.

  4. Diana on 19/07/2010 at 11:27 AM said:

    Some days I wish I were adopted. If I didn’t know the biologicals I could pretend all kinds of things. As it is, I know my dad very well, and there is nothing about him I would ever change. My mom, she passed away in 1992, is another story. She was beset with demons all her life. I have no happy memories of her. She was always trapped inside a head that told her to be sick, to be nervous, to be judgemental. What I inherited from her, or might have inherited, I fear. I don’t want to be the mental case that she was, devoured by jealsouy to the point of accusing me, the only daughter, of having an affair with my dad. Part of me is a product of a sick mind, one that has me second guessing my feelings and motives nearly every day. I don’t want to be a pill popper like she was. I don’t want to be physically ill like she was. Mom died in her sleep, and I was able to see her before they removed her body. She looked so at peace – the most peaceful I had ever seen her.My first thought was “she’s free of her demons at last.” Knowing your biologicals can be as much a curse as a blessing.

  5. From what I can tell, you are are much more fit than most people. Those people who are really in shape, probably have their lives revolve around it. They probably never really have a God’s honest cheat meal. Do you want to really live like that? Not me.

    One other thing, when you get up into incredible shape, you catch a lot of attention. People watch what you buy in the supermarkets. Cashiers ask you what you do with your food. People intrude into your space much more than ever.

    Anyhow, I think you said you did some modeling a while ago- or tried to. So I think you know what I mean. Can you imagine having Brad Pitt looks without the security. I think life would be painful. Shopping at night, jumping in and out of clothing stores. Avoiding the people “clocking” on you. Oh yah, or you could not be in kick-asset shape, and dress like color-blindedly.

    Do you really want to be in the shape you think you want to be in? Maybe…

    As for your being adopted. From what I can tell, you have a lot of love in your life. However that happened, be so very thankful for it. I would be so curious as well.

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