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Kurt’s father, Jack, left the family when Kurt was just a toddler, and ever since there’s been a shroud of mystery and menace around the man — his mother implies that he was dangerous, and affected by paranoid schizophrenia, and that he spent at least a year locked in a psychiatric hospital. Kurt grows into adulthood with barely any memory of Jack at all. But when Kurt’s older brother confesses that he’s been talking to Jack on the phone as part of his addiction recovery, Kurt realizes he wants his own chance at a relationship with Jack, and starts talking to him on the phone as well, getting to hear that, despite living in South Florida, Jack still has his working class Boston accent. Eventually Kurt flies out to visit him, and sees Jack living a bit of a scrappy hoarder lifestyle, working two jobs and sharing his house with 26 screeching exotic birds and a terrifying dog named Sybil. Kurt yearns to ask his father the important questions he’s been carrying around all this time — why his dad left, was he really mentally ill, was he actually violent, didn’t he want a relationship with his kids, didn’t he ever want to look for his sons — but he can see right away that he can’t tackle that on this visit, and that he’ll have to save those questions for later. Instead, the two go to a barbecue joint for dinner, where Kurt takes in all the complexities that exist in his dad, and decides that he wants to really get to know him for whoever he is.
absent, acceptance, barking, bird shit, birds, Boston, brother, Burlington, creepy, dog, father, filth, Florida, forgiveness, hospital, institution, Jack, Live, Massachusetts, mental illness, paranoid schizophrenia, reunion, son, Sybil, Vermont
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