Husband, Father, Drunk.
The stab of the screw causes the cork to jettison with a pop.
The crystal ring and slosh as the poison is poured into the glass.
A colour deeper than blood.
He licks his pale lips eager for the taste on his tongue, to feel it in his mouth and body.
The tense raging hunger, need, desire and longing is finally quenched,
For another hour or more.
He returns to his chair before the TV, turning it on
With a determined press of a button on the controller that never leaves his table.
It is the only sense of sane order left to him, the one thing he still has control over.
The wide screen jumps into life with the vibrant colour and vigorous energy of fireworks.
That force reminds him of his lost and wasted youth.
The news and weather again and again and again and again. News 24 rules his attention.
The global disasters, famines, bombings and corrupt politics flicker
Over his glazed grey eyes, watching the world spin and change.
A world he no longer feels part of, a world he thinks no longer needs him.
All are excuses, reasons, motives,
as feeble as the hand that lifts the poison to his mouth once more.
To take one more sip, one more mouthful,
One more glass, one more bottle
This is what it has come to. His days spent slumped before the TV.
His body crumbling and withering like a tree split apart by lightening. Beyond saving.
The poison that is so delightful claiming more of his soul, his spirit, his mind, his body and his life.
A life he will not fight for even though he has everything to die for.
Erasing the person he once was. Without any sign of defiance, just simple surrender.
The poison makes his heart, mind, and eyes blind to what he has. What he’s losing.
It has washed his heart black, making it as hollow and cold as each bottle he drains.
He appears oblivious to the pleading looks of his children,
The tears in his wife’s eyes.
All hoping, praying, wishing, waiting,
For him to change.
To be the father that used to laugh, his eyes once filled with happiness.
To be the husband that used to smile, a heart once filled with love.
That man has long since left their home and their hearts.
His soul leaves them contained in the empty bottles they put out to recycle.
That man now sits in my father’s chair but is not my father.
Just a reflection, a look alike, bitter and resentful towards everything.
A ghost that haunts us with misery, shame and pain.
A perfect stranger that we simply call Dad but acts nothing like him.