_(excerpted from original article)_
The Corvette: My father’s car was a ’65 Corvette. He had had it for fifteen years, and he loved it. He did not love his car more than his family; the car was not a symbol of anything for me. However, the car was a symbol for him. It represented everything that he couldn’t have in 1965, when he was single, broke and living with an abusive father. The car meant manliness and freedom; it meant, as he had put it, “That I can go wherever the fuck I want when I want.” Even if he only drove it between the house and his office, the ’65 Corvette was his way of knowing that he could attain something that he had once thought unattainable.
No, I had no problem with the car, and I mourned the demise of that beautiful machine with him. My problem with my father was a different clichÃ©: that money, for him, meant success, and because I had little he secretly felt that I was a failure. That he loved me in spite of this fact, not simply because of who I turned out to be.
I should make it clear that I did not blame either of my parents for the breakup or because I taught at a community college and not at a university. But I did blame my father for the persistent feeling that I owed him something that I could never repay. Somehow he had convinced me that I was in his debt, and a man who feels beholden to a parent is never truly an adult.