I love Californication. It gets to the heart of being an artist, a writer, a flawed human being. After years of making mistakes, the second episode of Season 4 found Hank writing a letter to his daughter, desperate for her forgiveness and understanding. I’ve transcribed that letter here because I was unable to find it online. I hope it touches you as it touched me.
To my dear beautiful daughter,
I’m writing you a letter. That’s right, a good old fashioned letter. It’s a lost art, really. I have a confession to make. I didn’t like you very much at first. You were just this annoying little blob. You smelled nice, most of the time, but you didn’t seem to have much interest in me, which I of course found vaguely insulting. It was just you and your mom against the world. Funny how some things never change.
So I cruised along, doing my thing, acting the fool… Not really understanding how being a parent changes you. And I don’t remember the exact moment everything changed, I just know that it did. One minute I was impenetrable, nothing could touch me. The next, my heart was somehow beating outside my chest, exposed to the elements.
Loving you has been the most profound, intense, painful experience of my life. In fact, it’s been almost too much to bear. As your father, I made a silent vow to protect you from the world, never realizing I was the one who would end up hurting you the most. When I flash forward, my heart breaks, mostly because I can’t imagine you speaking of me with any sort of pride. How could you?
Your father is a child in a man’s body. He cares for nothing and everything at the same time. Noble in thought, weak in action. Something has to change. Something has to give. It’s getting dark, too dark to see.