In September 2019, at 28 years old, Aidan Jones travelled across the world to meet his Colombian, biological father.
Aidan's show 'Taco' at Fringe World is the story of that meeting.
His parents had been together for six months when his mum was backpacking through Colombia at the start of the '90s, then when she got home to Australia, she found out she was pregnant. A few months after Aidan was born they decided it was going to be too hard for Aidan's dad to be a meaningful part of his life, so they cut contact.
As Aidan travelled to Vienna, in Austria, where he lives now, he had plenty of apprehensions. . .
What if he's bald? This is the joke I've been making to people for years since me and my mum first made contact with him in 2015. One of the main reasons I wanted to find him in the first place was the nagging question of how much of who I am is down to the genes of this man I've never met. Whereas personality stuff is probably more down to my upbringing, my hair is something I could absolutely pin down to genetics. I had to know.
What if we have nothing in common? Or to put it more bluntly, what if I hate him? What if he's the worst? Or what if he's not the worst, but we just have nothing to talk about? There is possibly no bigger anti-climax in life than travelling to the other side of the world to meet your long-lost father, only to spend an awkward afternoon chatting about the weather.
What if my step-dad is upset? I actually already have a dad, he and my mum met when I was two, he raised me, he's my dad. I call him dad, and I love him. As much as I feel it's important for me to meet my biological father, I also don't want my dad to think I'm cheating on him, shopping around for other dads.
What if he doesn't show up? This was a genuine fear I had as the plane landed in Vienna Airport, what if he's not there? What if he's dead? Or worse, what if he's not dead? What if I have so much emotion and thought and worry invested in this one moment and then he's not there. Double abandonment. That'd suck.
What if we got the wrong guy? Starting to get a bit crazy now, but what if the guy my mum had identified from Facebook somehow turned out to be the wrong guy? What if the guy she thought was my father actually wasn't? Something you should know about me is I do have a tendency to over-think things.
What if it all goes perfectly to plan, we meet, it's lovely, and I leave feeling exactly the same? There is a temptation, in contemplating such a huge life event as meeting one's biological father, to place a lot of undue significance on this one event. A part of me definitely hoped for a monumental epiphany, a euphoric bolt of understanding when I saw this man who is undeniably a part of me, for the first time, live in the flesh. Maybe I'd understand myself a little bit better? And maybe that understanding would empower me to banish all of my lifelong struggles against myself in a single stroke? Maybe this was what I'd always been looking for! But what if it wasn't?
'Taco' plays Le Roi at Belgian Beer Cafe from 18 January-9 February.