Best Friends

Eventually Avery understood why he never invited to play at the home of his friend Johnny.  It was a simple reason that has been a part out the deep south since men first settled there.  For Avery, not allowing his best friend to know that he knew the reason was the color of his skin was tougher on him than the reality of not being allowed there in the first place.

This fiction was written for Trifextra: Week Seventy-one.

On to the prompt.  This weekend we’re revisiting an early Trifextra, our second ever.  The challenge is to write a complete story in only three sentences.

A Grain of Sand in the Ocean

Peter lived a lonely life.  A young soul conceived not through love but through lust.  A one night stand caused by alcohol. High schoolers whose life would become all hard work with minimal reward.  A life of constant unhappiness and loneliness.  Add the stress of raising an unwanted child in a catholic dominated town that shuns out-of-wedlock conception.  Peter never had a chance.  

He understood his lot in life. He was a loner. A pimpled faced teen with very few friends in a small town that lauds macho high school players and prom queens and cast out those who are different. He grew into a man all alone.

Peter longed for the voice of Freddie or Stevie.  The ability to capture an audience and give them a feeling of escape if only for three minutes.  The talent to use his fingers on a guitar or piano and sooth the pain of those who look to music to escape the brutal reality of their own life.  He longed for the talent to write words that inspire readers searching for healing.  Words that he could express for those who understood yet never are able to write themselves.  

An unloved soul searching for acceptance in life.  He searched the end of the rainbow only to discover a deep, empty cauldron.  His only reward was the brief view of the optical phenomenon of droplets reflecting their light. An illusion which parallels his life.  

His smile hides the tracks on his skin.  His escape from the brutal truth.  One conceived without love can’t be loved.  His pedantic life is followed by a single set of footprints on a sandy beach.  Only to be swept away by the tide into the vastness of the ocean.  Never to be seen again. 

Yet Peter was a great actor.  He walked the streets of his southern town with a beautiful smile.  Content to those who knew him.  A superficial expression of happiness to those who didn’t.  His life a slow and painful death.

This fiction was written for Trifecta: Week Seventy-eight.

On to the weekly prompt.  This week’s word comes from Karen is Muttering.
 
: of, relating to, or being a pedant(see pedant)
: narrowly, stodgily, and often ostentatiously learned

Please remember:

  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.
  • Only one entry per writer.

Pain and Beauty

Woman With a Towel, 1898, Edgar Degas

 

Off with the layers of sadness.

Painfully peeled one by one

with reflections of my storied past

and a future of hope and healing.

Time to bear my soul

to those few I hold close to me.

Re-open old wounds and ugly scars

that are physically present for public consumption.

View them and draw your own conclusions

yet look beneath the skin you see

and see the real hurt lying deep below.

View with open mind and open eyes

not with eyes closed protecting you

from these unsightly pains before you.

These wounds are mine.

Earned from alcohol and abuse

during the years of innocence we call youth.

Look deeper till you see my heart

injured and still bleeding yet

still pumping the very life that is me.

Search deep within me

and find the love and caring

that I know exist within me.

For you my dear friend

are the one that can help me heal

with your gentle ear and sensitive nurturing.

Only then will my bare skin become

soft and beautiful.

And I will find my peace

in the life that is before me  

and beyond.

 

This was written for The Mag #163

She Reached Out

There are many like us out there.  We all look the same. We are those who suffer at the hands of the alcoholic.  You would not recognize that we suffer.  We hide it well.  We often seek shelter inside our shell yet can’t escape the pain inflicted upon us. A pain received at the hands of someone we love.  Both emotional and physical pain.

I was one of the many. However, one person extended a hand.  Understood my reality. Sacrificed herself in order to make our life somewhat more manageable. Tried to make normal of the abnormal. A shield of sorts.  Often taking the abuse upon herself so it may bypass me.  All in the name of love.  A love for her only child.  A protector till the very end.  

She was more than a protector.  She was my loving mother. She did all she could do.  For me. And I thank you.

This is fiction written for VisDare 10: Whimsy.  No PFC Patterson this week.  The picture didn’t allow it.  It was difficult to come up with something.  This is all I could bleed today.

The Kite

my_house

I grew up in a small town in the heart of Cajun country of south Louisiana.  I was an only child on a sugar cane farm with an alcoholic father, a loving mother and a chaotic household.  My mother, a seventh grade drop-out, did everything she could to keep things normal for me and most likely for herself as well.  My father drank daily.  And yelled daily.  We lived in an old farm-house that we rented for twenty dollars a month. This is in the seventies mind you, not the early 1930s.  The house had no heating or cooling. The roaches pranced around like they owned the place while the rats danced in the attic. Often I heard them fighting. At times they would fall down the walls of my room.  Not exactly a place you wanted to invite friends.  My days were spent alone, in my own world.  I played with toy tractors and football by myself in the pasture. Our closest neighbors were an old and kind black couple. Behind my house were acres and acres of sugar cane fields.  They were my escape from the chaos of my home.  My favorite time of the year was spring. The cane had grown to three feet in height at this stage of their growth. That is just a bit shorter than I was at eight years old.  The winds would blow swiftly yet silently across the fields.  Often in the spring I would walk into the cane fields and fly my kite. The vast expanses of openness along with the spring winds were ideal for this activity.

One particular spring I purchased a baby blue paper kite from the local Ben Franklin. This was a departure from the more cool plastic bat kites of the time.  Owning a paper kite would surely bring ridicule at school had my classmates found out.  My father helped me construct the simple kite. Four light pieces of grooved wood and the paper itself was all that was needed for assembly. He added a long strip of a worn bed sheet, yellowish in color, as a tail. One spring Saturday morning in 1973, at age of nine, I was ready to launch my kite on its maiden voyage.

I left the house late that particular morning.  My mother had prepared a lunch for me and placed it in a small brown paper bag. In the bag was a ham sandwich with mayonnaise, a bag of lays chips and a cold Winn Dixie brand of grape soda.  Off I went across our pasture behind our house.  Over the ditch and into the cane field I marched till I found the perfect location. I was alone.  The wind blowing briskly across the tops of the sugar cane.  The long leaves made a slight hissing sound as they danced in the breeze.  Armed with two reels of kite string spun around an old broomstick handle, I flung my kite in the air.  Up it went into the sky, the breeze lifting it skyward. Quickly it reached the end of the string. There it flew above me, its tail waiving in the wind.  I pushed the broomstick handle into the ground to free my hands. I looked into the clear sky, dotted with fluffy white clouds, at my kite flying so majestically. It was simply beautiful.

I don’t remember the amount of time I spent in the field that day.  It felt like an eternity.  I spread my small body between two rows of sugar cane with my feet just barely touching the infant stalks of cane.  The ground below me was cool against my back.  It was slightly hard from the drizzle of rain the day before. The cool ground was a sharp contrast the warm sun shining  from above onto the front of my body.  I ate my lunch there, carefully placing the trash back into the bag.  My dog Flag visited me at one point.  I even napped.  All the time, my kite just flew above me. When the wind picked up I could hear the rustling against the paper. I felt so free. So at peace. I felt my house of chaos was a million miles away when in reality, it was only a few hundred yards south of me.

I remember that day vividly, even to this day.  The memory is a short film captured for my mind to play whenever I want to revisit. I can still feel the cold ground below me.  I can still hear the kite rustling in the breeze.  I remember the cold can of check soda, the outside of the can covered in beads of water caused by condensation.  When I want to relax I just hit the start button and play this moment in time.  It soothes me even these many years later. I often hope that when I pass on that I can revisit that day. Perhaps I can hover above that scene and see the happiness, if just for that day, in my eyes. It was for me, at that time, a heavenly day.  

It was the best day of my life. 

This was written for Yeah Write Week #99.

My Sentence

A hush descended over the room.  She stands and clears her throat.  Then she reaches over to the center of the table to take some grapes out of the glass dish.  Everyone watches as she slowly places one single grape in her mouth.  She put the remainder of them on her paper plate.  Again she clears her throat and says, “Hi I am Beth and I am an alcoholic.”

Everyone responds “Hi Beth.”

“I am here cause I believe in myself.  After years of drinking, two husbands, over twenty-five tattoos and lots of alcohol it is just time.  Life has exhausted me.  I have no control.  I never have.  Honesty is the hardest thing to face. I have drowned honesty with gallons of alcohol.  That has cost me my kids, two failed marriages and my professional life.  I know I am not alone in this self-destructive behavior. When does it end?  I am scared of where I have awakened sober. I am no friend to emotion.  I express love through physical contact and nothing more.  I am a sad state of affairs.”

Beth sheds no tears during her introductory speech.  She listens as others comment.  She sits nearly motionless through each visitor’s talk in the meeting.  Daydreaming. Agonizing. Regretting. She slowly finishes her grapes as the meeting draws to a close.  She savors the sweet taste of each.  She has brief conversations after the meeting then heads out the door.  Waiting for her outside are her kids. They were granted a quick visit.  She hugs each kid tightly. Her tattooed arms hold each kid tight, tears flowing from her eyes.  She kisses each kid and reaffirms her love.  Then she stands and turns to a female officer, waiting with the door of her car open.  The officer places handcuffs on her. Beth takes her place in the back seat.

As they drive off she waves to her kids.  She then says, “You know officer, my jail sentence is short. Only two months along with rehab and AA.  But my true sentence was handed down not by a judge but by alcohol.  A life sentence.”

This is a work of fiction.  Written for the speakeasy at yeah write #95.

An Open Letter to Alcohol

The following is only my opinions based on my observations and experience growing up in a house with an alcoholic.  I have read many studies over time, but really only touch on them briefly.  They are much more complex than I will ever understand.  This may be considered by some rambling or written without any expertise in the study of the consumption of alcohol and its effects.  Perhaps that true.  It was just on my mind and I wanted it to come out. I really only touch one grain of sand in the beach that is alcohol.

couresy of rumroadravings.com

Dear Alcohol

You have been around for as long man has walked our beautiful planet.  Ancient civilizations worshiped you.  You were refined during the man’s medieval period.  The Anglican Church leaders of the early modern period of history stated you were a “gift” from God.  You arrived in America during the early days of our discovery.  You could be found in nearly every one of our original colonies.  The taxes placed on you early in our history helped pay our Revolutionary War debts.  Later in our history, your taxes help fund the War of 1812. You were a “medicine” during the great American Civil War. You were banned with the ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment yet you would not only survive but prosper.  Even the mere mention of another prohibition would certainly bring out the lively debates we are experiencing now with the talk of gun control.

You Mr. Alcohol, in all your variations of taste and potency are here to stay in America.  As long as the money flows, so will you!  And boy are you flowing!  According to this 2011 New York Times article you are even helping our government during our tough economic times!   How patriotic of you!  Congratulations!  Many people can toast you and help the economy simultaneously!  A true American Hero.

Cha Ching!  That’s the sound all brewery’s across our great nation hear over the sound of smashing metal or the yelling of an intoxicated abuser at his kid hunkered in a dark corner of his own room. Just like most things in America, money rules!

I don’t claim to be an expert in the field of alcohol, alcoholism or domestic violence.  Mr. Alcohol, I have read many studies that claim that consumption of you does not increase the chances of domestic violence.  There are countless studies I read like THIS ONE which almost exonerate you from any correlation with domestic abuse.   This is where things are indeed tricky.  My years in a house which you were prevalent makes me deduce that You were a major contributing factor to domestic abuse.  Now maybe we have to closely define domestic abuse.  There is so much varying information available that researching gave me a headache!  I came across THIS, but really didn’t clear the murky waters so to speak.  Maybe it is like an amber ale compared to vodka.  Who knows.  It is complicated, that I understand.

Everything is difficult to explain I suppose when it come to you Mr. Alcohol.  What is clear to me is I was in a chaotic house where You were the center piece of mental and physical abuse.  This chaos caused me to have an unhealthy mental state of mind throughout my lifetime.  Studies have shown many character flaws that are common in kids that grew up in an environment where You were prevalent.  I am proof.  I live it daily.  I suffer.  My kids suffer.  The sad part in all this Mr. Alcohol, is I don’t drink you nor have I had it in my home for over 25 years.  I guess I am not supporting our country in these tough economic times.  How unpatriotic of me.

Society is, generally speaking, concerned with driving under your influence Mr. Alcohol and that is a good thing I suppose.  If we can save a life or a family from suffering that is terrific.  I fully support it.  MADD is a great organization with lots of political power and their WEBSITE is loaded with statistics proving their contribution to protecting our citizens.

courtesy of CNN.com

However, does society even care what happens after they enter the home?  Society doesn’t want to invade ones privacy so it acts like it’s no real problem.  So let the alcoholic drink as long as he doesn’t endanger society by getting behind the wheel.  How about the alcoholic endangering the members of the household either physically or mentally? Does anyone care?

I believe my father, at his core, was a good man.  A good man with a drinking problem perhaps?  However that doesn’t make him a good man to me.  I am sure that others have the same experience or opinion.  I feel something has to be done to protect children in the country that are being raised in alcoholic environments.  I don’t have the knowledge nor the intelligence to come up with a solution.  I am sure someone does.  There are too many people suffering for long periods of time because of You, Mr. Alcohol.  Alcoholism causes kids miss their childhood.  Causes kids grow up to fast.  An environment of alcoholic parent(s) and kids is not conducive to a loving environment.  Kids miss learning about their parents.   They are given a horrible example of grown up behavior in this environment.  From my experience I find it is unhealthy and leads to a lifetime of suffering in some shape or form.  Our country needs to wake up and understand what is happening with alcoholics and their families.  We need a MADD to help fight for kids growing up in alcohol related chaos and abuse.  Those kids have a right to a good upbringing.  As Americans, we owe that to them.

I am sure there are plenty of Americans that drink responsibility.  I am sure that domestic violence happens in households that involve people who don’t drink.  I accept that.  I was in a home with YOU as the centerpiece for eighteen years.  I now understand I wasn’t an only child.  I had many brothers.  Jack Daniels,  Miller light, Gin and Vodka.  All were with me on practically a daily basis.  If I did the math,  I am sure more money was spent on those siblings than on the only human son in my home.  I am a statistic.  I just don’t know which one.  I feel it really is all about MONEY.  Those in power and or the companies who are making billions annually don’t want to the public to understand what is going on in alcoholic families. As long as alcoholics or drinkers don’t drive, then it is generally thought that society is doing its job. But they are not.  This satisfies the monster that is alcohol companies cause they “promote responsible” drinking and still make the profits.  Cause people are still drinking.  Alcoholics are still alcoholics.  And they purchase You Mr. Alcohol.

Thanks for listening Mr. Alcohol.  This is written from my experience in my childhood.  My father died a week before I graduated high school.  I now understand that I am an Adult Child of An Alcoholic Parent.  I live with that daily.  I did some research before I wrote this, but this is mainly my observation and experience.  I’d love to be able to get one parent to recognize the problems caused by abusing you Mr. Alcohol.  Or get a kid to understand at a young age that they are not alone in their experience with Mr. Alcohol within their household.  That help exist.

Thanks for your time.

A toast to you!  Good Day.

Mind of Shoo

Do I know you?

Do I know you?

You were my father.

So many years ago

What do I know?

I know you enjoyed alcohol.

I know you liked outdoors.

I know you worked hard.

Those are superficial.

You never shared you deepest thoughts.

Those were washed away

by streams from cans and bottles

as swift as the mighty Mississippi.

You were my father.

Did you love?  Did you care?

Did you hope?  Did you dream?

Unanswered questions fill my thoughts

so many years later.

You left me a child.

Now this  man understands.

I didn’t just lose you to alcohol.

Alcohol never let me know you.

Vail of Beauty

enpundit.com

My mother, once so beautiful.

Now her body trapped within a layer of disease.

Struggling to get out.  Struggling to live.

Her body dependent on alcohol

As I once was dependent on her.

Her body, a shell of what I remember

when I looked lovingly at her while she read bedtime stories.

Her body moved slowly

unlike the way it once moved playing in the backyard.

Her eyes stared blankly into darkness

No longer sparkling blue like waters in the Caribbean.

Her mind no longer knows me.

Her son taken away her by alcoholism.

Her body is motionless now.

Beneath a purplish blue vail of beauty.

The way I will to remember her.

 

This was written for Picture it & Write

Picture it & Write is a weekly creative writing prompt hosted by the Ermilia coauthors, Ermisenda and Eliabeth.  We invite you to join in; continue the story or starting your own based on inspiration from the image.  Poetry and foreign languages are welcome, but please provide a translation.
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Where am I going?

I have been blogging for a little over a month now.  It has been quite the experience for me.  However, my blog is going nowhere that I thought it would.  Is that a bad thing?  I think not.  What I have learned in this short time is that I really enjoy writing.  I have gone from wanting a blog to find others who are adult children of alcoholic parents to just want to express myself creativity.  Certainly I can find a way to do both.  Or at least attempt this.  But it the use of words that I enjoy. 

Now I am not saying that I am any good at writing.  When I ask people or reasearch how I can improve my writing skills I inevitably hear the word read.  Read all you can.  Read outside the genre you are interested in.  READ! READ! READ!  Now this is scary for me.  I want to improve my writing.  However, I am overwhelmed with all the material presented on how you can improve that I frankly don’t care to read all of it.  Not to mention I am not a good reader.  Reading is hard for me.  So can I improve without reading?  I don’t know.  Is reading really the foundation to successful writing?  Possibly.  Most successful authors will tell this to us.

How about music?  How about movies?  Both of them use words, only they are attached to sound and visual.  There are so many beautiful words in music if you just look past the music.  I am moved and haunted by music.  By just lines in music.  “I want to sleep on the hard ground, in the comfort of your arms.  On a pillow of bluebonnets and a blanket made of stars.”  This is a line from a Dixie Chicks song that I find incredibly beautiful.  Even if this is all I look or listen to, I am moved that someone could write something so beautiful in my eyes.  Now this is a key point. In MY eyes.  Look, I don’t even like country music but for me these words are, well, music to my ears.  And that’s without Natalie Maines’ lovely voice.  I can find lines in movies that are beautifully written and poignant.  In The League of Their Own, Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks) responds to Dotty’s (Gina Davis) saying baseball was getting to hard by saying; “Its suppose to be hard. If it wasn’t hard everyone would do it.  It’s the hard that makes it great!”  If I could only write something so powerful.  And it doesn’t hurt how perfect an actor delivers such a line either. 

Where am I going with this?  I have absolutely no clue.  What I know is this.  I understand I can’t change the world with words.  I understand that I probably will never get published or sell a script.  But I can dream can’t I?  I ever wrote about my dreams in THIS post some time back.  I understand I want my words to affect people.  I want to use the words I type on this screen to make them think about issues I feel important to our nation, our being.  Like accepting everyone regardless of color, beliefs or nationality.  So, I will continue to just write.  Or ramble as I am doing today.  I will write for me.  I will write what I feel and want to express if only to myself.  I know not many people will even read this!  But I will work to be a better writer.  Somewhere along the way, I can only hope that someone is moved by something I write.  Or someone thinks deeply about an issue of importance to our everyday existence.  Everything else will take care of itself.

I don’t know or understand the direction of this blog or my mind for that matter.  I just know there are millions of words in my mind.  I can only hope that I am somehow able to put them on paper in an order that others will want to read.  I don’t care where my blog goes, as long as the minutes I spend writing each day gives me some peace and fulfillment.  If only so brief.

Till we meet again.  Good Day.

Mind of Shoo