Ahab in this story, is, of course, my dad, who will be dismasted this afternoon after a long battle with bad-knee-o-fuckitallity.
Anyone who has the sack to call me a great white anything had better step the f*** off. I have been too emotionally challenged for the last two years to put down the whiskey and the cheese. Get your head in the right place pretty quickly or I'll bite your leg off, too.
And if you are noticing that the analogy - or wait? Is this an allusion? Anyway if you are noticing that it's not me and my dad engaged in a great moral battle with each other, neither of us sure who is the force for good or evil - if you are noticing that, I commend you for paying attention in whatever class made you pretend to read Melville. (I know you just read the Cliff Notes; that doesn't make you a bad person; I never finished Ulysses because so many allusions are... never mind).
The problem, of course, is the problem of evil. Evil, of course, is the special flavor in the air that occurs (naturally) because we live in an (un)natural world, a fallen world, a world where it is possible for things to go so very wrong but also a world where even smart people can get confused about the wrongness and come to believe for some illogical reason that being big and white and filled with rage has something to do with a brave man on a boat who has no leg because she (the big white one) just ate it. And that maybe she did that because there were some bad time with a harpoon that she thinks was somehow about her.
Do you see how gravely and deeply this doesn't work?
Where is the connection between my dad's problems and mine? Where does one person's leukemia lead to one person's whiskey saturation and the other person's knee-fuckitallity form a causal relationship with the great big terrible anger of the cheese-eating white one flipping around in the ocean yelling at the sharks because she is so angry?
This is the problem with me and my dad. I didn't give him cancer and he sure as shit didn't buy me the whiskey. I didn't bite off his leg and he definitely didn't follow me around the ocean in a great sulfurous bark trying to impale me with a harpoon barbed with misery. It only feels that way because my dad and I have a symbiotic thing - a thing of emotional interdependence that usually happens between mothers and their children and between spouses and their spouses. (Stop trying to remember the name of the German what's his name who said all daughters are creepy in love with their fathers. I have never tried to shield you from the fact that I suffer from exactly that psychological error).
But back to the problem of evil. The evil presents itself and does its finest work when a good thing - loving someone else a whole lot- causes suffering so great that one's logical faculties are impaired such that in the story, Ahab and the great white ungrateful spoiled fat daughter are actually out to destroy each other, when in fact the evil is doing the job of destroying both and meantime damaging the love of one for the other pretty successfully too. Ahab loses. The angry white one loses. Evil wins.
I know there is some stuff in the bible about how we should love God (lots of people have assured me that it says that in the bible and I totally believe them) but is there a bit in there where it says you are allowed to have hatred for the devil? Like really serious inky black violent blood thirsty hatred? Is it in there?
Thank you for all the comments and emails and prayers and drinking binges you have all offered up for my dad and for me. When this period of literary mis-allusion passes, I'll let you know what news I have and I'll try to do it without writing a scary post. (I just said I would try - not succeed. Stop looking at me like that).