Dear Dad (a letter to Charlie Sheen from the future)
This is your son and I’m writing to you from the future using my iPad 27. You think the iPad 2 was cool, wait till you check this baby out; the hologram cornea display is a thing of beauty! They also finally added Flash to the browsing experience after holding out for all those decades. It’s pretty sweet, especially when I want to go retro and check out web sites. You should also know that it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that Steve Jobs is in fact the anti-Christ… especially because he’s still alive.
I just want to say that despite what many have told me over the years, I still think you were a pretty swell dad. I know we never talked that much or saw each other as much as we would have liked to but I always looked up to you and you were always fun. You helped define what a winner is for me and I live by your words and example to this day.
I came across this feature article about you recently that was a retrospective on the year 2011. I have vague memories of that time… like how mom actually changed my diapers with her own hands before the iChange app changed everything for mothers everywhere. Anyhow, the article mentions that this was the year everything changed for you. I guess you got fired from a TV job that paid you $2 million per episode (funny how that was a lot of money back then!) and then you started this crazy country-wide, sold-out tour shortly after. This was not before you became one of the fastest twitter users to reach 3 million followers and the nation became obsessed with all things Charlie Sheen. You were a major star! So proud of you, dad!
The article also mentions that you were America’s favorite train wreck in 2011. What is that all about? Your “years of drug use and soliciting prostitutes caught up” to you, as well as the “many instances of violence and spousal abuse.” Apparently you were spinning out of control and the world was simply waiting for you to “crash and burn (or die?) so that they could move on to the next disaster in a body.”
Either I forgot about all of this or I just never knew. Totally crazy to think that you ever went through that or that you were ever that guy.
I don’t know what exactly happened but the article mentions that your life made a dramatic turn for the best in the next few years. I think this is when you made a conscious decision to lay low and stay out of the public spotlight for a while. Mom tells me that you received help by admitting to her you had a problem and enlisting in a variety of detox and counseling programs. Maybe this is when I started to see you around a little bit more along with the many new uncles that you started hanging with. They were super cool guys and I remember thinking that you seemed different (in good ways) after you met them.
I guess you were a mess back then but the only version of you I remember is the one that showed up at the moments that mattered to me– including my high school graduation when you told me you loved me and that you were proud of me. I know you were a busy guy and you had to spend time with my other brothers and sisters that lived in different cities with their moms but I saw that you were trying and I appreciated that a ton. I see now how rare a loving father is and I’m forever grateful that you were around when it counted.
I love what you stood for in your later years as an actor and activist. You were quite the motivational speaker and you helped “screw-ups” get back on their feet. You showed me that mistakes are ok as long as you work towards righting the wrongs. You showed me that second chances are precious but available to anyone who is wiling to give life another fair go.
Just wanted to write you to tell you I love you and that I miss you. Wish you were still around.
It’s crazy but I just met my first grand-kid the other day. His name is David Carlos Estevez and he has your eyes.
You’ll be proud to know that in the midst of my own hang-ups and let-downs, I think I turned out okay and I’m someone you’d probably call a “winner.” Thanks, dad.