Thursday, January 21, 2010

Simul iutus et peccator

On June 3rd, 2007, I wrote the following. It was in reference to a night I spent with my father. It was the beginning of what has been my life with him from that day to this one.

Last night the earth exploded.
I watched as men bled from the swollen part of the head.
He built the bomb, but I lit the fuse.
The burst of sound at the shattering of the earth
was heard by so few it seems.
Comfort was nowhere, not even in Pete's Dragon
could I find respite.
With dawn all was set right
and I was angered at the audacity
of whoever hid the pain and blood from all humanity.
Yet with the light the selfish sleeper woke from the dream
of the dream that should not come
and I rose to watch the dead man walk.
He rolled cigarettes
while we ate breakfast with the Beatles.

That night my father got so drunk that he couldn't move. He passed out in an alley where I found him slumped over behind a dumpster. I got him in my car and drove him to his friend's house, all the way listening to his shouts and derogatory comments. After leaving him with friends, I got a call that he was picking fights. As I drove up I saw my dad walking toward my car. As I came to a stop he began to fall, face first and nothing to stop the coming tragedy. My feet hit the ground as his face hit the pavement. It took five minutes to get him back in my car. Unable to raise anyone on the phone, I drove to my brother's house in a frenzy. I ran inside and began to weep as I tried, through my sobs, to explain that my father was in the car bleeding from the head - I thought he would die. From there Ben took care of it. He drove us to the hospital, though we did not go in, and then sat up with him all night, while I tried to calm down inside. I still have nightmares about that day.

The amazing part to me is this: at the time I felt selfish. I felt like it was my duty to care for my father. This line "Yet with the light the selfish sleeper woke from the dream of the dream that should not come" was all about me. I woke up that morning knowing (in the way you "know" things when you think you are so right... even though you are so wrong) that I was a horrible person for even dreaming of a world where I could dream of adventures like school and travel.

I came home from Simpson believing that Simpson was my one break from my world, my life, my tragedy. I have been living that lie since then. I came home expecting to hate this life... to be "stuck" here until my sentence was up, my service paid, so I could move on with my life.

It is time, in this long journey of claiming me for me, to claim my life, my choices. I choose to be in this city now. No one else keeps me here. I choose to care for my father, because I don't think I can handle the emotional upset if something worse happens to him (not in a "it's my fault" kind of way, but in a "the world has gone wrong" kind of way). I choose this life. It is not my sentence, my punishment, my prison.

For this reason, my life, here, there or anywhere, can be whatever I want it to be. This means that just because I am here in Seattle, does not mean that I have to play by my perceived rules of this place. I have boundaries. I can live by soul and not by obligations.

3 comments:

mme. bookling said...

fucking fabulous post.

Mpls Heather said...

You amaze me more and more with every word you write.

CHall said...

Well said. Live your truth. Love you cousin!