Sunday, November 18, 2007

Third Stool to the Right

On any given night you can find our subject on the third stool to the right in your local dive bar
Sitting alone he tilts his glass from side to side, swirling the contents like a cauldron that he stares into for advice
But the only face he sees inside is bitter and lonely, cold hearted and ugly, pressed against the walls for years till his expression only resembles the bricks that line the outside of the building
And every once in awhile he sees what he recalls of his daughters beautiful little face burning brightly behind his eyes
And he just takes another shot of the whiskey he keeps next to his bed when she keeps him awake at night
I say he remembers what he can recall because for the last 12 years he hasn't been a father at all
Back in a time when things felt more innocent, a young man and a young woman became more than intimate
And every evening was spent lying in each other's arms whispering in her ear before she would roll over and return the sentiment
But quick passions sometimes lead to quick decisions and there was no thoughts about any natural repercussions when he slid himself between her legs without any precautions
The next few weeks found our couple grocery shopping as normal, but this time next to the bread, milk, and eggs was a pregnancy test
Back home in the bedroom his heart raced, and her hands shaked, as they watched the strip change colors right in front of their face, and she cried when she realized that her life was going to change
What should have been a beautiful moment was washed over in panic, despair, and rage, as the father tried to talk her into visiting a clinic the next day
The truth was that neither one of them were prepared to have a child, and while he didn't want to stop the birth of a human being, he knew he couldn't provide it with a proper standard of living
His bitterness just expanded as evenings were spent demanding that she took a look at what kind of world they were bringing a little child into
A mother that never even graduated high school and a father that was too self absorbed in creating a name for himself that he already renounced the God that his parents had introduced him to
There was no comfort in reaching out to higher powers and this course of events only led him to believe further that any benevolent presence was too high up to be concerned about a lonely little boy without the proper will power
The guilt ate at him during every waking hour
He had dreams of uprooting his little flower
Devouring the seed inside her already blossoming body to prevent dealing with the years of inadequate preparation that this poor little spirit would be forced into when it was born
He was more than torn
He was divided into an internal battle with his morality, his responsibility, his integrity, and his youthful desires
The relationship only became strained as the months went by and he secretly wished for a miscarriage to relieve the torment in his mind
Until the day came when she arrived
He stood in the delivery room and watched his daughter emerge from inside, and when the nurse placed her in his arms the world realigned itself and tears poured from his eyes
It was the most beautiful moment in his life
And even when told me this amidst the crowd and noise in that bar, he still cried
And when his tears finally dried he told me about what happened within the next six months, when his baby died
Even though in all reality he had no control over the fact that his little girls heart had just stopped he still felt like it was his fault because God had been listening and he finally woke up

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