Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Book That Digs My Grave

There’s a huge dilemma brewing with my father. He wants to write a book. What’s worse than that is, he wants me to write it for him. I’m working on my second book which includes stories from the past, and how it was to grow up in an “Italian household” clueless to 'suspicious happenings’. He wants to take it a step further and have me interview him. I wanted this to be narrated from my viewpoint as a child growing up. But no, he wants to have a face-to-face interview and place all of his shocking stories in a book for all to see.

“Oh come on! Stop with that tawk! She’s not writing that crap in there!” My mother yells from the kitchen.
“Whaddya’ tawkin’ about??? This’ll be a top sella’ if she goes tru’ wit’ dis—whaddya’ crazy or sumptin’? Dese’ are all true stories I’m tellin’ ya here!” My father yells out from the living room back over to my mom.

My question is, if I display all of his stories in my book—would some wise guy find it? And if they did, would they come after me? Would I reveal someone’s deep dark hidden secret and have them rush over to where I live with two big cement shoes, and then drive me over to the Hudson River for a nice casual swim? It just doesn’t sit well with me.

Another concern is, my father has millions of stories. How do I even attempt to gather all of those up and place them in a book and attempt to call it ‘my own’? He’s already thinking up names of the book.

“Dad, I don’t even know how to start with this book.”
“Whaddya’ mean? You start with how I started workin’ at da’fish market down in South Street Seaport in Manhattan when I was justa' kid. I hadda’ collect money from da’stores for a percentage. I dought’ it was okay until some guy grabbed me to drive a tractor trailer full of bagged up meats into a butcher shop wit’ no name. You can call it, ‘Life in an Organized Mess.'"

It was messy alright. I had no clue why this happened, or why ‘that’ happened. All I know is, if you ever get your meat from a butcher, keep in mind what might go through those grinders. I think my dad’s the culprit of my nightmares. I'm making him pay for all my therapy bills.

“Ma! Are these real stories or is he taking too much medication?”
“I don’t remember a thing!” She pipes back. Figures.

“Listen to me! You tell dem’ about the excavation business and how the garbage companies participated in the ‘clean up’ as well as the laundering.”
“Dad! Your excavation business is still going strong--are you crazy? You really want me to put that in the book?”
“Why not? Dis’ is all from da’ past and I’ve already been indicted for these things. I did my time.”

He was right. He did his time in a Federal Pen and now back on track with his excavation business. What’s wrong with this picture?

There’s not a doubt in my mind that most of these stories are comical, but there are stories that are just full of gore. I am not sure I am over the trauma of watching my parents get arrested to begin with. They were all ‘hush hush’ before the arrest, and now my father wants to tell the world his story.

I wonder if his story will become my story. If you see my face on a milk carton, you’ll know why.


Pittchick said...

I can see your reluctance to tell your dad's story, but if your post is any kind of a preview, it's something I'd want to read!

AWE said...

Have you seen this Blogger? LOL.

Write the book, it would be interesting to read.

Mike said...

Quite the dilemma lil missy. I can relate to your reluctance myself.

chris said...

I think your dad is on to something. The book would be very interesting. I would read it.

JD said...

roflmao, too funny. i'm just jealous cuz your parents have so much less of an accent than mine. suffice to say, the above-mentioned discussion would mostly happen in Sicilian in my house. too funny Deb. sad part is, outside of Italians and Soprano fans, no one else will get this. ;)

TrappedInColorado said...

Hasn't that book already been written? Wasn't it titled "Goodfellas"? You got nuttin' to worry about, kid. By the time they read it it will be too late to do anything with you. You would be too public.. untouchable. Go ahead. Write it. If any wiseguy hacks into her blog let it be known that I have never met her and believe that it ain't illegal if you ain't caught. I'm just sayin'....

Tai said...

On an insightful note, it may be true to say that your father's stories ARE your stories...as are the color of your eyes, the shape of your hands.
All goes into the making of a child.

(you know what I'm tryin' to say, right!?!)

I'd read it!

luckysevn said...

Too FUNNY!!! I'd read it too! Deb, I didn't know you had Mafioso in ya (am I allowed to say that???)!! Make sure to mention something about "Tirdy-terd and terd" in the book. Took me "tree" years of living in NYC to realize that meant "33rd and 3rd!"

Big Mama said...

"Musings of a Mad-Man"

LOL!! Your Pops sounds like a trip! He also sounds like my grandfather. Giovanni (bless his heart, he died while we were stationed in Italy) whom everyone called Johnny. I think you can give him his own book and preface it with a disclaimer or two... Unchained thoughts of a man in his own mind... I would read it!!!

Don't forget to write your own book with no help from Pops. Save yours for you and you alone.

Russ said...

Your dad reminds me of this guy:


Maybe not the same stories, but definitely the same sort of accent.

Casually Me said...

You are too talented, too original, and too damned smart to get involved in that one.

~Deb said...

Dna… Yeah, it’s always a fascinating topic, although there are thing that just doesn’t sit well with me. However, I love watching Soprano’s---but that’s a different family and of course, it’s ‘t.v.’.

Awe… MIA will be my new name!

Mike… Yeh, you’re part ovda’family now.

Chris… Thanks. I’m not sure if I could sit through those stories though!

JD… My parents are both from Brooklyn. My mom sort of lost her accent, but still has the “New Yorker” in her, but my father----fuggedaboudit’!!!

Trapped… This blog is doomed, isn’t it? From Christianity to lesbianism to mafia princess gone born again. I would call the psyche ward and let them know I’ll be there momentarily.

Tai… Stop scaring me. That’s not nice! ;)

Lucky… I didn’t know that as well until the feds knocked down our doors one afternoon. All this time I thought excavation and construction workers wore suits, jewelry and cologne on the job at all times. That should have been the red flag.

Big Mama… If I do write this book, I want my dad to pay for my psychiatric bills at the ward!

Russ… Yeah, lots of people from Brooklyn have that familiar accent we love so much…

Causally… I appreciate that. Although it would make for an interesting book, I’m not sure if I could pull off ‘stories’ told from someone else. It’s not ‘me’.

Butchieboy said...

I met your pal, Dani. She's a real treat.

Leesa said...

I have read that writing a book is like birthing a baby. Do you really want to do that with your father in the room?

Saur♥Kraut said...

Uh, WHEN did you say you were moving out? Distance will make it much easier to avoid having to tell him NO, but it will also help you avoid telling him YES. Of course avoidance is truly bad advice, but it could be the easiest solution!

normiekins said...

Your father is a riot......i think you should write a humorous book about your life!!!!!

~Deb said...

Butchi... Isn't she just a doll?

Leesa... You're so right--and no, I do not want to birth a baby--period!

Saur... Luckily I have my own place upstairs from them seperately, however...he always says to us, "I keep the excitement around here! Whaddya' gonna do when I'm gone? Youz'll be bored!"

He's kinda right.

Joe said...

I guess it'll all depend on what those cement shoes look like. Something strappy for the summer might be nice.

Anyway, your father's book sounds like a great idea - and your book about growing up in that household would be a natural sequel.

Heather said...

You need to continue to write your book the way you want it and tell him you'll write his next. Give him a tape recorder with lots of tapes and have him start recording the stories for you. That way whenever he gets in the mood or remembers something, it's recorded for posterity and if later on you decide you really do want to write the book, you'll have all the info.

I'd read both books.

Monica said...

Heather...you're soooo right.
Have him save the stories, record them in his voice. Then, even if you never write them, maybe one of your nieces or nephews will want to someday. Save him for the future. You'll be glad you did.

Cheetarah1980 said...

Are you suggesting about your father what I think you're suggesting? You grew up with the Godfather? Wow!

StopSpamming said...

If you do write it, I'll definitely read it!! :)

DSMars said...

I'm sure it would make for an interesting read. I've tried several times to get my father to write or record his stories. He's a great story teller. He won't so it though. You could write it under a nomme de plume (is that how you spell it?) and change all the names and locations enough so that no one will come looking for you.