Posts Tagged ‘fiction’

Beer Money

Some people would argue that your childhood shapes your future. I don’t know whether it is because of it or despite of it that I am the person I am today.
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My father was an alcoholic, there is no other way to put it. I never met my mother. My father never talked about her, In fact he always got mad when I asked about her.
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My father took me out of school when I was only eleven. The next year, we migrated around the entire country with his friends going from bars to strip clubs, and casinos while I spent my days watching TV in his friend’s RV. I started working in my uncles garage when I was thirteen. At fifteen, I was making enough money to take care of myself. I stayed home to take care of my dad, which meant buying groceries and paying most of the utility bills.
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My father had a small job cleaning the toilets of the bars where he spent his entire life, but he had no commitments, he didn’t have to. When responsibilities came knocking at his doors he used to tell me in between beer heavy breath ” I’m not cut out for this, I was never suppose to have kids, ya know”. But there was one thing that he committed to, and that was to give me “allowance” every two weeks since my sixteenth birthday.
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On my sixteenth birthday, his friends and him dubbed me a man and they give me a shot of Sam Adams. I threw up almost immediately. They all laughed and I remember one of them saying that I would soon get used to it because I was my father’s son. I never got used to it.
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The next day, he gave me my first “allowance” and told me that he would continue to do so every other week. He was serious, almost diplomatic, when he pulled me over and sat me down. He said ” In our family, we have a tradition”. He emphasized on the words family and tradition. ” As a man, he continued, you are now a part of this tradition”. He paused to mark the gravity of this moment. ” I don’t have much, he mumbled scratching his head, but this is your beer money…buy enough to last you two weeks though”. He got up to leave and then turned around to say ” Don’t worry, I’ll give you some tips along the way”. He scratched the back of his pants and walked trough the door.
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The next time, he cried grown man tears when I tried explaining to him that I didn’t want to take his money. And that’s how it all started!
Every other Friday evening, he would proudly hand me beer money along with some advice to increase my alcohol tolerance. Strange enough, it was then that I bonded the most with my father, not because I was interested in what he was saying, but because he truly enjoyed talking about it. Even when I left the house, he still continued the tradition despite my plea. I never spent the money he gave me because I always thought that one day when he is dire need, it would come in handy. On my twenty first birthday, I decided to open my own garage. After the inauguration, I saw less and less of him. At some point, I only saw him on the Fridays when he would willingly leave his friends behind to catch up and give me some money.
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My father passed away when I was twenty six, just when I was getting used to seeing him on those Friday evenings. It was just when I was looking forward to the old man’s regular visit because that was the only time where he was my dad, where he was just mine. The day after his funeral, I decided to take the beer money that was in my saving account and spent it all so it would not remind me of him. I took a chance and bet all on the only roulette wheel at our local casinos where he was a regular. I bet it all on the number ten, to represent the ten years that he had been giving me beer money. I bet it all and won.
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I wonder if he knew it all along. My father always knew that I didn’t want to live the life he did, maybe that’s why he never asked me what I really did with the money he gave me, maybe that’s why he never talked about my mother because he knew it could break my heart. My father was an alcoholic, there is no way around it, but I would trade my millions for his Fridays evenings.

Fathers’ menopause

I am tempted to follow her pain outside to cheer her up. I am tempted to pick her up when she falls down, but she says, “Daddy, I’m fine. I can take care of myself.”
So I leave her to the city, the source of all evil. I leave her to her boyfriends, their blatant lies, and her fiancé. I leave her to the pervs, the stalkers, the sex offenders that infest the streets where she walks.
I let her go. She will be fine; she told me. And it’s ok because she can take care of herself.

Lucky people

She sat there on the sand, on the beach where she dragged me. She was crying, her eyes to the ground, her fingers drawing sad “smileys”. She started. She told me everything that was wrong in her life. Everything!
And as I hugged her and caressed her soft black hair, I thought of the many, many people that would make me cry like a baby if they had ever told me everything!