You’re born, you die, and in between you make a lot of mistakes. – Unknown
I grabbed up the baseball hat, the bandana and my truck keys and headed out the door.
I had no destination in mind. I just had to go….somewhere.
I couldn’t figure out why I was coming back to me at younger ages and reliving my past this way.
I am very well versed in my past. I know my feelings about it and how I dealt with it.
I know my life. It is MY life. I just want it to get back to the present where I don’t know what will happen.
I make the effort to drive around aimlessly down back country roads for a while to regain whatever sort of composure I have left.
I make my way back home and turn down our street and park in front of the house. I pull the keys out of the ignition, take off my seatbelt and open the drivers door.
I pull my left leg out and turn to face the house as I place my foot on the curb.
To my mental dismay, I have gotten out in front of my parents house….on the day my Father died.
I know this to be the day, because I am slumped down on the front sidewalk clutching my knees and rocking back and forth. I am 31 years old.
I walk up to myself and speak.
I look up at me and seem to have no recognition of my future self. I just stare at the photo of my father that is clutched in my hands.
I look down at myself and realize how frail and sickly I look. I remember I had been on a 3 or 4 day binge the week before he died. Cocaine. Booze. More cocaine. Little sleep. Less food. I came to the house from the bars when my Mom called me to say he wasn’t doing well the night before he died.
Prostrate cancer did him in. Years of hard drinking didn’t do it. He lived his last 12 years clean and sober.
I remember thinking then…as I do now…that it just wasn’t fair.
“He’s gone.” I said as I looked up at me and back at the photo.
“You can and will get through this.” I replied.
“Get through this?? How do I get through being an almost non existent son during the worse time of his life? A worthless junkie son who never had the balls to say he was sorry for not being there and caring more about getting drunk and high that anything else? Get through this….f$&k you.”
The words stung and hit home. I didn’t only hear them. I felt them. I believed them.
I know life gets better for me…but I can’t convince my former self of that anymore than I can convince myself right now.
I am left confused by the whole interaction.
I kneel down next to me and ask,
“So…what are you going to do?”
I look at me with dark sullen eyes, pause, smirk and reply.
“I need a change. I think I’m gonna shave my head like you and then drink myself into a coma. What does it matter…look at Dad, better yourself…die anyway. I gotta go. Mom needs me.”
He gets up to leave and I reply,
“Shaving your head because your Dad dies is the stupidest thing I have ever heard.”
I look back at me with complete recognition and reply.
“Stupid is as stupid does….and hey, ask yourself…have you gotten through it yet?”
I crouch down on the sidewalk and hug my knees and close my eyes for a second, taking all the events in.
I get up with the intentions of walking in that house and making things right.
I turn around to face the front door, only to realize I am at my house.
13 years, 8 1/2 hours and 500 miles away from my parents old house.
My 31 year old self is gone….but the photo of my Dad lay on the sidewalk in front of the door.