I bow my head and peer into the darkness. I have no idea of the future, nor much of the past. My son calls to me, just as he did in the hours before his birth, when I knew I was to become a father, when I knew that I was to become something I feared, long since, the responsibility of bringing another human to adulthood, to become a bringer of life, and wisdom, both of which I was sorely lacking. But I did. I faced my monsters, my demons, my doubts, my fears, and I lived! I lived.
The doctors said that I would not. That I could not. Ninety days. That’s what they gave me. One day more short than the previous. Each day a passing, a count. Each day a challenge. I did not bow before their wisdom, their collective experience. I fought. I screamed into the blackness. I shook with the delirium tremens, I fought the whiskey flees. I parked off the exits of Rt. 460 between the liquor stores and my house and I screamed into the night. I fought with all my heart and soul. The blackness came from within and without, and I relinquished nothing, not one thing, in my quest for my soul.
My wife looked on from outside. Everyone looked on from outside. I broke in the face of my sadness, my shame. I worked hard to regain myself. I failed.
In the quest for myself, I lost my way. I succumbed to the misery inside. I lost sight of the war, in search of the battle. I thought myself healed, my demons beaten. I was wrong.
I failed in my quest for perfection. I let down those who believed in me…worst of all, I compromised my son. My only son. My reason for everything. Once again, I went screaming into the blackness. I could care less of the consequences. Tonight, I dared the best MMA fighter in the area to beat me senseless. He could not. Its a curse, this life. How could I yet live, through all this? How am I yet still alive? How is it that I can laugh in the face of such misery, such pain?
I can go peacefully in the night if I could just be loved. For me. Not for what I can do, or what I can offer, or the protection that I extend. I am tired of all that. I have nothing left to give. I am just a Dad. Just a father. That is all I want. To raise my son to be what I am not. To give him promise to a future that is not mine.