This article is taken from Stand 240, 21(4) December 2023 - February 2024.

Jeff Kulik Dear Old Dad
I found Dad’s last manuscript the day I got fired.  It was typed out on thick sheets of construction paper and shoved in an envelope in the bottom drawer of a nightstand in the rathole apartment where he’d spent the last year of his life. It was also the only thing of his I kept before I paid a crew to clean the place out and throw everything in the garbage.   

It was months before I could bring myself to read it.  Until then it sat, rotting in its envelope at the bottom of the ever-growing pile of junk mail on my kitchen table.  Marla, my girlfriend at the time once asked me what it was. Whatever I said to her about it was part of the reason she eventually left me. It was all in the note she left behind, which I threw in the garbage, too.

Dad’s manuscript was not that bad. In fact, it was quite good.  It was written in a very different style from all his earlier works.  But it was clear he had written it. I could hear his voice in the words. Apparently, he was planning on taking his writing career in a different direction with this one. He never got the chance, though.

By the time he wrote it, we’d all already heard the allegations against Dad. I remember the day I first heard the news. I was working as an editor in a small publishing house when one of my colleagues shoved his phone in my face. ‘Dude, your Dad’s getting cancelled,’ he said.  At the time ...
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