This I Believe

Ben - Honokaa, Hawaii
Entered on March 9, 2007

The healing power of the union of thought and voice saved me from myself.

I remember that Thursday like it was this Thursday.

The hurt stays from one of my worst days, when I first gazed at that body resting lifeless on the bed in our living room.

A bed in the living room.

Not much room to live for father, mother, sister, or brother, but no other choice at present for these four modern day peasants,

living in a one room stone shack on a hill.

I was stone still, glaring and staring down, wearing a night gown,

with tight round fists clenched and glued to my hips,

and my lips sealed shut and pressed to cause pain,

as I bit my cheeks in a vain attempt to ignore the fear and shame and terror and blame and guilt building and swelling up and enveloping the very center of my four-year-old soul,

so I wept and leapt on him while he slept on, and started to shake him,

if I could wake him it would make him okay,

and he could take me to play in the park, or make me brave in the dark, or to shave, or behave, give me marks on the back with his belt leaving welts that felt bad,

if you would just get well dad,

or go to hell dad,

it’s just as well dad,

hey what’s that smell dad?,

it’s sex and women and bars and gin,

and cocaine and morphine and needles sticking in your skin,

where you been for the last four days,

while your wife pays the bills and raise your seed,

selling weed or whatever, trying to get what they need,

just to live in this filth, while you bring home disease,

forget you too’s what I’d say if I could talk to you,

messing around on your wife with a prostitute,

the concept of love in a marriage was lost to you,

it cost a few tears and a few years of denial,

but now I see you, see through you, and I’m no longer a liar;

I watched my mother deal with the loss of her lover, the crosses were rubber, and I shuddered at the touch of another,

the unclean, unseen truth of my youth,

living in a scripted existence and stripped of innocence lost at the cost of agnosticism,

exhausting my system with thoughts of my father and dealing with them;

alone with your corpse of course I was scared,

blood streaming from your nose down to dry matted hair,

and your clothes in a bunch at the foot of the bed,

naked, stinking,

unblinking eyes rolled back in your head,

while I shake you, and I kick you, and I beg you to snore,

you’re really dead, and I’m a child no more.

Were it not for the healing power of the union of thought and voice, I would be in pieces. This I believe.