PROLOGUE next to dead
I felt slow, so very slow, as if I was shuffling through black-strap molasses. Life dripped down in fractions as the distorted sounds dribbled to my ears. Your father lay on the floor, dead. Dead as a doornail, I've heard it said. With death, our world simply slipped from the sturdy axis it once rested upon. I did not know of this slip at that moment in time. Never did I know of the piercing tentacles of death. Never did I know of the slow suffocation that was to come.
Captured, I was, as my soul was slowly spooled from me. Little threads, here and there, escaping through my pores and winding away from me. Hollows of blank places filled me now. An empty-holed soul is all that remained for many years. This emptiness bore a strange electrical current within me like the dull trilling of tungsten steel. Steady constant humming steel that simply wore out all other sane thoughts.
Never did I want to admit or profess this jigsawed life. Far easier it is to grab my broom and sweep it under the proverbial rug. Let it lie. Sweep. Let me lie. Sweep. Let me pretend. Sweep. Just let me go was a daily pledge for me. Let me go live a lie so that I may forget the truths became a soothsayer token as I swept these years. But, the lie was not to be. Acceptance would be the only way. And, this acceptance jumped around like a rabid dog protecting a rancid ham bone. I would get close to the coveted acceptance only to be backed away again by the feral growls.
Something or someone does not want me to have this peace, I finally deduced. Whether that statement is true or not came to be irrelevant in my life. My perception ruled my world. This one-eyed ruler ranted of evils, lying like a snake in the grass, awaiting my arrival. Brimming with the perception of fear as panic juiced out and coated me would be the way of it. At times, even today, this fear fucks with me. In my mind, it takes a seat to the left, patiently waiting for a breach. Watching for a sliver of doubt upon which to pounce is this trepidation within me.
I believe the only thing that saved me from pure insanity is my hell-raising. My God awful temper got down to serious business when all else was lost. Never did I foresee or know any of the trials to come. Never did I know how pissed off I could truly be. When this life shoved a lukewarm plate of falsehoods down my throat, I sprung like a tight coiled copper wire that is finally loosed from the ties that bind. Spun loose and screaming from my mouth were the vile catchings of this life, along with the constant fastballs of fuck you and you and you and you. A fuck you for any and all trespasses on my life barged out from the cracks in my facades. To this day it remains to be one of my favorite expressions. Fuck you! Spitting out those two words empowered me through the bitter coughed up crumbles of my life. This fuck you is for you and this fuck you is for the horse you rode in on!
Cursed, I felt, as I continued on this anger fueled cock-a-hoop road map. Straying and veering off the road, getting ever so lost, as I tried to right the life that had been so carelessly kicked down the road like an empty beer can. This, being lost on the highway strewn with my mistakes, is what led me to the proverbial crossroads. It is that place in life where you do or you die. At my crossroads, I took the fork to the right. One little right made all the difference and I ended up at the river. Welling hate dribbled with hot anger flung me in the water. With knee-deep wading, I stumbled and current-crossed legs sent me face first into the water. Drenched and reeked in anger, I found myself. I did not know the sageness of the water at that time. The whiz-bang that followed ripped me instant willies. Jumping, thunderstruck with wobbly legs, I fell down again. Then, I saw it. For the very first time, I saw it. Soaked in the shoals, I beheld the secret of the whiskey in the river.
On that day, had I not been so pissy, I would have missed the river altogether. My pride and ego would have pranced right past the quiet waters without a second glance. Pride works me like that when it tells me I am better that what I actually am. And, of course, my ego stokes those fires to light the jackass within me. And, every ass loves to hear himself bray. But, on that one day, it was only my sadness that made me stop. Sadness reigned and slowed my roll, stopping me on a dime. This stop and this river wisdom changed me into a decent human being.
I've heard it said that death changes a person. I believe it to be the truth of me. The bitch I once was is forever gone. Never will I be the same.
Although alphabet letters do not do justice to my feelings, it is all I have left to give. And, it is the very best of me. To you, my son, I pass my bottle of river whiskey. Pungent, the shot is at first throwback. A slight gag in the back of your throat comes from the truths, in the beginning. But, it is the burn in your chest that you will forever remember.
(excerpt Whiskey In The River)