For the high school football end-of-season banquet, my mother made me invite Greg Proctor, whom I hadn’t talked to since he'd beaten her unconscious with a chair and she'd initiated divorce proceedings. She was still as confused as I was about whom I should think of as my father—the man she was married to for eleven years whose name I had, or the man who’d left her fifteen years ago and whom she’d just seen again after I’d discovered him. Greg Proctor came gladly, wearing a black leather flight jacket with a sheep’s wool collar. He must have been trying to tell my mother that he was fashion-conscious, but it embarrassed the hell out of me to have to sit with two stylistically challenged parents who so disliked each other. I introduced Rob Coleman, the black offensive lineman whose sister was married to Wayne Martin, to Greg Proctor as Uncle Rob. Greg Proctor looked at him rigidly and said, “This guy is not your uncle.” My mother never asked me to invite him to anything again.

Just added to The List and the Story: Out of the Nineties

AuthorJohn Proctor