Damn Dad….

“Damn Dad, where’ve you been??”

It was a Friday and he and his oldest son

Were doing a watch party on Amazon

Of an old TV series

As COVID had locked them all inside

And it was the only way to see his son

And his grandsons

And he looked forward to it each week

It only for the joy of seeing Them

But the joy he felt from draining a box of wine

While doing it.

He said something in gibberish

And his son knew he was beyond blind drunk…

….yet again

Only this time, through the magic of Amazon

And it’s face party feature

He could see the blood running from his Dad’s

Eye and head and knew that this time

he had really done it.

“Dad, you’re bleeding! What did you do?”

He screamed out into the camera

…and in front of the grandkids;

Who were also in tears,

And Dad simply said “OOPS”

And went into another ridiculous lie

That he’d tripped over the dog

And got his head ….

When, in reality, he’d passed out

In the bathroom backwards into the tub

In his own waste

And knocked himself out for 35 minutes…

At that moment, his younger son

Came storming into the “man cave”

And proceeded to scream out all of his


And rage,

And disappointment,

And shame

And, yes, even fiery hate

To his old man…

You see, big brother lived far away

And had called little brother to help

Because there was so much blood

And he knew it looked like it did on camera,

It was ten times worse in person;

And he was right.

Younger brother poured drunken old Dad

Into an ambulance that night,

Poured him in to the hands of the paramedics

Like pouring honey into a glass—

Slow, impatient, and fighting the speed

Needs to address the wounds

Before they got worse…

the blood had also begun to pour;

But not like honey….like juice through a sieve.

You see, drunken old Dad lover to be altered;

He loved to numb himself

And loved the buzz

And the fussiness

And the silliness

And the fun

From being so numbered

that he remembered NOTHING

each morning.. especially the part when he was


And hateful

And despicable in his words

And belligerent

And nothing like the silliness he dreamed to

He was in pain and he let it go;

Like that girl in “Frozen” his grandkids adored…

The ER doc took one look and shook his head;

He took younger son into the hall

And drunken Dad (who had finally started

To come out of it if from shock if nothing else)

Heard mumbling and screaming

And the sounds of sobbing…

… and then he sobbed too

Because he’d put himself first

And they had to pay for it yet again…

This time though,

The doc came back,

And told good ole drunk Dad,

That he would “need a little blood”

To get him back from how far he’s gone;

And of course, drunken Dad asked

Sluggishly and with a lot of effort

“How mush we talkin bout docktur?”…

(Oh but he read gonna get


…”Nine units sir…”

Was all the doc said. And he said it like

An Undertaker would measure for a coffin.

Nine units.

After all, when you’ve lost all but 1/4

Of your blood supply,

You have to have something

…because, Elsa, you damn sure “Let It Go”

Didn’t you?

He didn’t remember when they put him

In the restraints either

But he remembered the sobbing again

And the hurt of the stitches

And the hurt if his sons soul

and the shame of being lashed down,

Like an animal,

And the realization he’d become and animal too.

The next day it was the same thing;

“I’ll do AA, I’ll get help…I’m done with this”

And was met by



….pained rage

….a stone wall

“sure you will”

Is all he heard ..

Then the doctor arrived

(No more “doc” like he slurred before

Last night when he was trying to be the

Big ole funny southern dummy)

It now it was the respect for the man

Who’d acted fast and saved drunken Dad

From himself…

“You’ve got cirrhosis, Sir”, he said

And the son left the room in disgust and fear

And dad, no longer drunken,

And using a little “d” in his name

Because a big “D” meant he was someone——

Suddenly knew time was ticking

…and it could not be replaced.

Once more inside he heard “Let it go”

And wished he’d let the time go

To long talks with his kids


…making a sober drive to oldest sons home

…holding his grandkids instead of a bottle

…playing chess with younger son and timer

“it was like sand “, he thought,

And that sand stops flowing like water NOW”

…and before he could talk himself out of it

Becuase wasn’t a faithful man

And had lost the will to believe..in ANYTHING…

He asked for the Chaplain to come

An hour later

An rosy cheeked man in a green suit

That had seen better days

Entree and said “I’m Chaplain Sean!,

I’m so glad to meet you!”

The words bounced around dads head

Like shards of glass because of the hangover

But Chaplain Sean had a seat and over

The next three hours listened…

To sobbing

To guilt

To shame

To lost love

To fear

And to black and vicious rage …

After that he sat quietly,

That rosy smile never leaving his face,

Cradling the Bible but not thumping it,

And looking back at dad with eyes

That had heard it all

and ears that has seen it too..

He slowly bent down to dads ear,

And past the stitches and the aches

And the pains and the loathing

And the ti es of blood still building him up,

Chaplain Sean took his hand

And smiled

And whispered

“………Let. It. Go’”

And, in that heartbeat,

Dad took back his capital “D”

“And let the Storm rage on

….because the shame

wouldn’t bother him anyway”

Ever Again.


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