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My father tried again with the football that September, and he must have been amazed when I said yes. I had never before said yes to any suggestion of his, although I rarely said no either. I just smiled politely and made a noise intended to express interest but no commitment, a maddening trait I think I invented especially for that time in my life but which has somehow remained with me ever since. For two or three years he had been trying to take me to the theatre; every time he asked I simply shrugged and grinned idiotically, with the result that eventually Dad would get angry and tell me to forget it, which was what I wanted him to say. And it wasn't just Shakespeare, either: I was equally suspicious of rugby matches and cricket matches and boat trips and days out to Silverstone and Longleat. I didn't want to do anything at all. None of this was intended to punish my father for his absence: I really thought that I would be happy to go anywhere with him, apart from every single place he could think of.
The author felt anger toward his father for leaving his mother and didn't want to go anywhere with him.
Whenever they met, the author tried to emotionally punish his father for being absent from his life.
The author could not relate to his father initially because they had different opinions and tastes.
Because the author disliked and disrespected his father, he couldn’t bear to spend time with him.
The author admired his father and desperately wanted to spend time with him, but his father neglected him.