Topic #20; Three Passions.
My father died when I was six years old so the image I have of him has always been very specific. He was a company man, my dad, worked for the CIA until it killed him. Those were my beliefs for so long, when Renee came along and told me that my father was in fact not William Vaughn, that I was not actually Michael Vaughn the world just stopped making sense. I still had my mother though. After he died everything seemed that much more important to experience with my mother. To make sure she was in on my life. Just Michael and Mom against the world. She was the only family I had for a long time and honestly it got a little lonely growing up. All our relatives were supposedly back in France and Mom always said it was ok that we were alone, as long as we had each other. Keeping my mother safe and happy has always been something I had to do, not out of obligation but love.
Now I have my own family, a family I’ve had to leave to fend for themselves. I have a daughter who I’ve never seen and a woman I’ve wanted to spend the rest of my life with since I met her. Instead of being the kind of man I want to be now I have to hide to keep them safe. My friends, my mother all believe I’m dead. The only way I can live with that, with never having seen my daughter and allowing my mother to believe she lost another man in her life to the CIA, is because the only things I really care about is keeping them safe.
It almost seems counter productive being away in an attempt to keep them safe. I just have to believe truly believe with everything that I am that I’m doing the right thing. I think I finally understand what I couldn’t seven years ago; why my father did everything he could to protect his family. Is that passion? I’d like to think so.
I’ve always thought of myself as someone who sought the truth, even before I learned the truth about who I was. Everything I knew to be true was actually a lie and at first I was more obsessed with finding the truth than anything else. I’m not sure when the obsession began to ebb away and passion for the truth moved in its place. Maybe when my life became more complicated – when a bozo red-headed woman walked into the CIA offices in L.A. – I started to care more about truth in general than a specific truth. If I deserved truth, didn’t everyone? Didn’t Sydney and Jack?
Not that the complications in my life stopped me from continuing my search for the truth about my father and Renee’s it became more of something I felt I needed to do as opposed to something I felt I had to do.
Passions merge and erupt, they change and bleed together. Somewhere along the line becoming passionate about taking down SD-6 turned into passion about wanting the changes to be honest, then to find common ground, then to get past my mistakes, then to find my father, then to take care of my forming family, truth about my father, why my identity was changed when I was 18 months old, that never went away.
My least noble passion but one that hasn’t faltered since I was a kid. It always amazed me the number of kids in L.A. that couldn’t skate. Maybe it had to do with it being California or that whole ‘surfing is the only sport worth learning around here’, attitude that I’ve encountered a few hundred times in my life time. I learned to skate with my dad, before he died he’d take me to the local rink and I remember those times with him the clearest. I don’t know if that’s why I continued to skate after he died but I did.
Eventually I learned to play hockey, I was so timid on the rink that most of the kids made fun of me to their hearts content. It took a few dozen games of getting my teeth kicked in for me to just say ‘screw it’ and really go out there and play. After a while, I actually got good and found that it was pretty much the only thing that relaxed me and took me away from a world where my mother was working two jobs and the house was empty when I got home. I played in high school and college and believe it or not the CIA has an office hockey team. When I first joined the agency a few of the guys asked me if I wanted to join their little impromptu league so I went for it.
As time went by of course I stopped skating as much, couldn’t get time to play. I was working on this operation or I was too tired from that mission to Peru this week. The time I was stationed in India and Rome weren’t really conducive to hitting the ice.
I haven’t even been on the ice since last year, just before all hell broke loose, I was still trying to teach Syd how to play. Well that and I was showing off a little. Being better than her at something comes few and far between, I had to milk it.
It’s not just playing hockey that I like, though that’s what I prefer. Watching is pretty damn enjoyable too. I always tried to catch the Kings whenever they came to town and found I kind of like the Zamboni too.
Muse: Michael Vaughn
Word Count: 956