I can tell by the way that all the lights are left on and the cabinets left open that this is just going to be “one of those nights”. It’s become such a routine that I never wonder to myself ‘What the hell am I coming home to?’ anymore. Food strewn about the table, bottles of expensive whisky and vodka left in their plastic bags from the latest run. It looks almost as if the owner of the house had been abducted, taken in the middle of making a meal, watching the game, or doing anything else that might constitute as a normal middle class, middle age, suburban evening. Bottles everywhere.
I came home from a night out, my money saved for school spent on cheap burritos and tall iced tea cans, and I come home to this. Dishes upon dishes stacked for a good week’s worth of neglect.
I know that he is drunk.
Lately I tried my hardest not to come around so much. Lately I try to spend what little hours I am there asleep, or caved in upstairs, drowning it all out with music and writing.
I search the house, expecting him to be passed out on the couches, or up playing poker, ridding himself of what little money was still to his name.
I search the house, expecting him to be under the covers of his bed, with every fan he owns going at full blast, leaving the house a train wreck in a drunken stupor. He is nowhere to be found.
I know that he is on one of his walks.
So many nights are the same. It’s become such a routine that I never wonder to myself ‘What the hell am I coming home to?’ anymore. I half expect your letters to be signed ‘Sincerely yours, your family disease’.
I will do this again, and again, and again. I will feel that same emptiness where he should be, that same knowing of exactly what the night has been like. That feeling of stupidity when I think maybe it’ll be the last time. It’s not the last time.
I know he will halfheartedly deny it all.
He will come home eventually. A matter of minutes, a matter of hours, it’s all the same. I will be told what I haven’t done, indirectly how I am disappointing, how much of a frustration I am to him, how I should be cleaning up the place, not making it look like such a shit hole. His slate will be wiped clean every morning. My life has been swallowed by your bottle.
I know I’m not much of a son, but hey, you aren’t much of a father.
Until I can run, run and never look back, to never feel that abandonment, the resentment of being replaced by your bottles and your nights out, I will do this again, and again, and again.
You know Dad, we don’t really have much of a good thing going here.