He was not cruel, he was empty - a vessel - you could blow across his head like a foghorn salute. It was not fair to hate him. Had he been sadistic, violent - had his passions erupted in bright, fluorescent heat. Had he smoked or talked about politics at dinner parties.
If he had done one damn thing, you could have justified the hatred.
He didn't though. He sat and sipped tea, calmly. You could not read him. So, you hid in books and ignored the animatronic abomination you sometimes called Dad. You didn't call him much of anything, though. Wasn't worth it.
That's the true sadness. What you took for vacancy? That was fear. What you saw as apathy? That was a frantic, scrambling scree run down the inside of the poor motherfucker's skull. He never wanted it. He didn't ask for it. He had tried to be noble. Now he smelled rust and saw the same child's head explode over and over and over. Sometimes he turned his Purple Heart ... over and over and over ... until it stuck to his clammy hands. His expression did not change.
He never even sneezed.
So, he became furniture, and that was sad. Possibly. Maybe it was destiny. He didn't believe that. One would assume.
You didn't know because you never asked.