My idol, my dreams, my days lost, my screams, broken visitations, left my heart breaking, too many unnecessary accusations. You taught me how to fake a smile, show my teeth, grin and bare it like a crocodile. It was you that gave this girl a reason to forge a grin, broke me down, stomped my heart, crushed my cubic zirconia princess crown. Giving my first lessons on goodbyes and unrequited loves, Daddy why?
Year after year till 22, I imagined how you would some day move mountains to make amends for how you disappeared, not giving a damn and withdrew. Looking back, who was I to you, did you ever pack my lunch, read me a book, drive me to school, clean and bandage my latest boo boo.
You have no idea about my first report, first game, first dance, first love or how I once lied to fit in, do you. No knowledge whatsoever of that prom, a dress ruined, tears shed, friends to console as I bled, where were you? Hiding out with the other dads cleaning shotguns, let me guess, not you. No fear that I could be ripped from your life, I needed you to answer my call, no sleep, no rest, unable to consume food weighing in at 82. Swerving and flipping out of control, tires squelching, horns blowing, people yelling, crawling through muddy wreckage, deliriously calling out to only you, Daddy why?
I waited night after night, month after month, and year after year, and all you could do was buzz in and out on a whim. Never giving up on the dream that one day you’d come around, but instead WHAT did you DO, you left my world mangled with lies, no I love yous, and the echoes of so many whys and your only reason, “A Bottle is My Happy” Daddy why?
For the love of God, I was only 22, you said you’d die happy, if you drink your last drop at your ripe old age of 42. Unable to forget, unthankful for your death, I no longer wait for an unfamiliar knock at my door. If you care, what I feel is stupid anxiety entering a bar, an all too familiar smell, I look around, stop and stare, are you the lucky fool who occupies the empty stool I sit beside. If so, Daddy why?
Older now, dreams forgotten, don’t give a fuck the excuses you used to say I was not your daughter, held your hand, kissed the bruises, saw you wrap the band, squeeze your artery, turn your head, stab a needle, made you feel you’re not my father. Daddy why?
I chose you, I loved you, I wanted you, having to rebuild all those years without you, sleeping through birthdays, holidays, Sunday dinners, Mothers and Fathers Days, how dare I let you expunge those from me. Many reasons I choose forgiveness, most of all, I’m not heartless although you left me lessons on darkness but you left me with good as well, creative and artsy, attentiveness, alertness, and some weirdness intertwined with your smartassness. Daddy why?
Unfathomable story in my soul, I knew you were sick with the indulgence of alcohol, I know very little of what you lived, night after night, month after month and year after year, looking for a father running from a memory, on a binge. Like you, obliterate the memory, passed out, sleeping sound, praying “Now I lay me down to sleep” I heard you cry, Daddy why?
You both are there and I’m left here, cheer me on, sit beside me while I drink my next beer. Struggling to break the cycle, see the light, get it right, take the time to fly a kite, let go my daily fight. I laugh, I smile, I cry, I live, I die, hoping to find one soul to relate, for the love of life not another stalemate. Daddy why?
Altered slightly from YOUR earthly showroom, my addiction is something you can’t consume, can’t touch it or locate it in a room. Not one that can incarcerate me, I do not think. I’d hang myself before I’d live behind bars, unable to see the moon and stars. You know my fear of a courtroom and my need to be where flowers bloom. Forgiveness beats on my door as you still buzz in and out on a whim, but now humming a hymn. Daddy, I hear the footsteps you take to wipe years of tribulation from my face. Daddy why?
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