son and father

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I know its absurd that I bring you up now, blame you for my sleepless nights, but the truth is I’m running out of scapegoats. So listen to me as I put these words on this page, writing down my doubt-riddled soul because it’s been seventeen years since we’ve last had this conversation.

I’m too old to wonder how things would’ve been if you had the balls to stick around, drop the bottle and picked us up once in a while. Many you forgot how it was to have a family, or how it was to be a man. Maybe you didn’t know what it was to be loved, or tolerate people who just happened to be weaker than you. Maybe you knew that life might’ve been better without your abuse, without the angry words at night, stealing the infant to the backyard with a knife, threatening anyone who tried to take him away from you. And the fucked up thing is that infant was me. So why’d you stop fighting for me? Was addiction better than the warmth draining from my body? I’m tired of asking questions to these walls. I’ve spent fifteen years of my life blaming myself for your leaving, wondering what I could’ve done to make myself a better son.

Maybe I should’ve taken the beatings like a man, toughen up when you pinned me beneath your drunken body. Should’ve have cried when the belt met my flesh, or accepted the venom pouring from your mouth. Maybe I should’ve forfeited my childhood on the days you were recovering from hangovers.

How many restless nights did you have thinking of me? Do you wonder how things might’ve been if you didn’t turn and run, giving up your family for an addiction that has nearly killed twice? In secret, I watch your body begin to die. You’re losing this war old man, and where do I stand? The child you made promises to only to break them? I gave you the chance to be in my life, but each time you chose something else instead. I’m tired of leaving the door open, the draft is chilling this home. And you come around, it might just be too late. Off to the streets to you, off to die alone in some gutter. And I’m sorry if my words are aimed to draw pain from your heart. Twelve years without you in my life and I still turned out to be just like you.

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