Searching for Water

Things go wrong, so we can learn to make them right. In my father’s eyes, mistakes were tangible reminders of one’s stupidity. My father never showed much interest in the things that I did well, but when I stumbled, he’d be the first one laughing.

It’s not that he didn’t love me. Somewhere along the line, he’d steeled himself against the suffering of others ~ his wife, his kids, the animals in their brief visits. The alcohol didn’t help but even without it, he would have been an angry man. I worshiped him, and feared his anger. When I was old enough to reason, I grew to hate him.

Two people consumed with rage; me at myself, my father at whatever was available and nowhere, in this unmerciful inferno, was there an inkling of compassion. My father, crippled by despair, lashed out at those he loved. It seems, now, from necessity. To keep the fear from surfacing. To keep the lid on tenderness.

If love is a well, my father’s rope could not reach deep enough. Time after time, he lowered it down, and the bucket came up empty.

LBM 2/27/06

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