We remember going to the book party for Dave Itzkoff's Lads a year or so ago and being astonished to find his father there. It was the rare book party at which we'd actually read the book, and Itzkoff's father — Itzkoff's cocaine-addicted father, we should say, who is painted as a guy who spent a good deal of his time lying around the house in dirty, torn briefs — is sort of the book's villain.
We can appreciate the concept of filial pride, on the one hand, but you'd think abject humiliation might factor in, too. (One wonders: Did Kathryn Harrison's dad go to the book party for The Kiss?) But we thought more about it, and figured dad probably felt humiliated but also guilty, and, in a very therapized way, it was probably decided to play up the pride and show family support.
Then we read the new New York magazine, where Itzkoff ads more to the my-dad-the-cokehead canon. A sample passage:
I had never actually seen my father getting high before, and on this day, I still wouldn't catch him in the act: His supply was exhausted, and all that remained in the room were a few rolled-up dollar bills on a nightstand, a glossy porno magazine on the floor, and a frightened old man shivering on the bed, his nostrils cemented shut with a mixture of blood and mucus, his eyelids sealed closed by some bodily fluid whose origins I couldn't even guess at. I had no idea how much coke he'd done or how long he'd been doing it, but now he was coming down, and he was coming down hard. "Come on, Dad," I said. "Let's get you out of here."
And we had several reactions — that we're glad our father's not an addict, that young Dave is a very angry boy — but mostly this: We're thrilled we'll never have to go to a Seder at the Itzkoff house.