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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Quotes from my father

“It takes me six beers to reach the level, and from there I can start to enjoy myself”, he brags
“Son when you can fit in my pants you can tell me what to do” he says tipping another wine cooler on the drive to Idaho.
“Here is a twenty, go play video games and leave me alone to sleep” he slurs just before passing out in an Arlington parking lot.
“You drive Chris, your old enough” he says to his nine year old son on a Canadian highway after too much whisky.
“Ok Jenny, our hands are in your life” he says to his eleven year old daughter on the same day on the same Canadian highway miles further on.
“I was working, I have to work long hours” he tells his son and daughter after only seeing them for a few hours the entire week of Christmas break.


“I wasn’t on a business trip when you came for your visit on spring break, I was at a treatment center quitting drinking”
“I am so sorry for the things that I did while drinking, the time I should have spent with you and your sister on Christmas break I was doing coke and drinking” his words to his ten year old son.
“When I told you real men don’t cry, I was wrong, that was probably the worst advice I have ever given you”
“I’m sorry you have to keep doing this to yourself son. I love you, but you can no longer live with me” he says to his overdosed nineteen year old son.
“I understand more than you think, I’m the only one in this car that’s sober” he says to his delusional twenty year old son.
“If all you have is God you’re fucked; if all you have is AA you’re fucked”
“When someone refers to themselves as an alcoholic I don’t need any more explanation, I understand the suffering, torment, and the pain they experienced. No more explanation is necessary, I understand”
“My name is Scott and I’m an alcoholic, and I have sixteen years sober today”

Dad got sober twenty five years ago today, march seventeenth nineteen eighty seven. I got the opportunity to know him drunk and I got the gifts from him being sober. I hear a lot of opinions from people about AA who are not alcoholics, or heard rumors from someone that it doesn’t work, or that the people in AA all whine about not being able to drink anymore, and my favorite is that they are all just weak people. If you knew Dad, weak would be the last word you would use to describe him.

Twenty five years ago today I got to hear the last lie due to my father’s alcoholism and drug addiction. That “business trip” was the start of the rest of his life. On St Patty’s day nineteen eighty seven dad came to wearing a pair of green bootees and never drank again.

Happy twenty fifth dad, love your son.

Chris McQueeney  3/17/12   12:59 P.M.

Here is my submission for FF55 at Mister know it all, This is a poem with exactly 55 words 

Full moon so fine

Full moon in the sky Do you see it there?
Floating by so fine
See how the light Strikes it just so
The angle of flight is Orbital,
Trajectory in the sky So low
Sad enough to watch It go
Sadder still is to know
It’s gonna fucking hurt
When that chick hits the ground

Chris McQueeney 3/16/12    11:38 P.M.


Other Mary said...

I'm not sure of your tone here, and really sorry if I'm off track here, but I get this visual, like something from Bunny Suicides...

Other Mary said...

Oh, I also read the piece above, and I just want to say congrats to your dad and you.

Dave King said...

Full Moon So Fine is so cool! I really enjoyed. The rest of the post also. You have a very distinctive voice.

Green Monkey said...

going sober on st. patricks day! THAT is extra sweet. So many people don't understand that addiction is a disease, not a choice. Love and big monkey hugs to you my dear friend xoxo

Brian Miller said...

i just took a kid to his first NA meeting this week...really struggling with his we were in the hospital again the next day so you prose is your 55 it was great in imagery and i felt two sides...reality and bit surreal as well...

G-Man said...

Such a finality to your poem...
Your Father post was very sad but it finished quite well!
You can never bring that lost time back unfortunately.
Welcome to the Friday Funfest
I hope you found this to be creative, challenging, and FUN!
Loved your 55
thanks for playing, and have a Kick Ass Week-End

Yvonne Osborne said...

Oh...I thought you were waxing all poetic there for a minute. "The angle of light is orbital," is a pretty fine line.

Those mooning days sure are fun. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Heaven said...

Very good writing.

Thanks for sharing that part of your life...I don't know how it feels to have a drunk father but I can feel the after shock tremors of his "lies" in your words.

The last one about the moon..the last two lines is a good twist. I didn't expect that coming ~

Wander said...

@ Mary, my tone is light and fun...I imagined myself sitting on a porch on a clear summer evening during a raging party while a drunk butt naked woman who was just a moment before bouncing on a trampoline missteps and flies off the trampoline, the surreal moment where time slows and she drifts by, the light from the porch striking her bare bum, then the inner cringe as the realization that she is going to hit pretty hard....that one is gonna hurt.

@ all My father was a gifted man and he partied like a rockstar, then he got sober like a rockstar. My poem was intentionally fun because of the serious subject matter of the pros....and it was fun!

Ben Ditty said...

Beautiful and poignant. I cried.

moondustwriter said...

glad that your dad was able to pull out of the dive

that was a hard hitting 55 - glad to meet you

Indigo said...

Wicked huge kudos to your dad Chris! I think it's rather symbolic he stopped drinking on a day that herald's a drinking holiday. I've done my turn in Bill's company and it served it's purpose. Kind of hard these days with my deafness (keeping Bill's company that is - drinking hasn't been an issue for 8 years).

My dad unfortunately, is still spewing a form of your first quotes. Sadly, I don't think that will ever change. He chose the bottle over me.

The 55 could have gone either way as a lunar melding of emotions or as you said a fun piece. Took me a couple readings, before I got the gist of the woman's bum being the full moon. (Hugs)Indigo

studio lolo said...

I've been watching you from KJ's blog. I like your writing very much.

My dad never got sober and it finally killed him. My mother too. great genes I have!

I love the rawness of your writing.

BIG congrats to your dad on his sobriety and to you for getting him back.

Anonymous said...

sad kind of irony at the end

anything but

Lydia said...

Nice 55.....but the top piece about your dad is just so powerful. To tell the story using his before and after quotes is honest and has an immediacy but also a timeless quality that really spoke to me.

My alcoholic father never got sober. He left when I was a month old, and I met him when I was 21 for the first time (he was drunk and it was a breakfast meeting), then saw him one final time 12 years later when I had 11 months of sobriety (he was bombed and grabbed my crotch).
So here's to your dad who fought for sanity and won!

Laura said...

So much pain and love here...thank you so much for visiting my blog so I could discover yours.

Other Mary said...

Hi Wander. I just wanted to let you know I came back and read your moon poem explanation. I like it (the poem that is) more each time I read it. I thought maybe you weren't familiar with the comic I referenced, so you can check it out here:

Becky Sain said...

The story about your dad had me angry and sad... then I found your happy ending. That's great, for you both.
Your poem -- great as well. I read it several times and each time I was like, "oh! Oh, now I get it!" ;-)

Nadja Notariani said...

'Quotes From My Father' was touching, powerful, Chris. Once I publish my next novel (in the next few weeks) I'll return to featuring people/stories/ etc once a week. I'd like to showcase some of your writing, if that's something you're interested in. Let me know.

Have a gerat week.

Wander said...

Thank you all for your comments!

@ Mary I looked when you referenced them and I will give it some more time...

Nadja I would be honored!

Lydia, that sucks...

Alice Audrey said...

Flap your wings, chick! Flap your wings! It's the only hope.

Aguilar Elliot said...


kj said...

Hahaha indigo's "I've done my turn in Bill's company"--me too :-)

9 years old, jeez.

I am so glad to hear how this turned out. That is gold.

This is a really good story, Chris. This one, if it were me, I might submit somewhere

Your poem is clever

Aren't you glad you get to write?


Anonymous said...

Those quotes hurt so bad. I hope those wounds can heal. I'm glad he's sober now, congratulations to both. :)

Anonymous said...

ack I left a comment but I think it got eaten.

Those quotes from your dad hurt so much. I hope that those wounds can heal. I'm glad he's sober now, congratulations to you both. :)

Anonymous said...

this was my first visit, and i thoroughly enjoyed it.

the quotes...
beautifully real.

and the poem.
made me smile.

Helena said...

I'd be lying if I said I didn't find a couple of your dad's quotes somewhat amusing - but greater is my admiration for his sobriety. He's lucky to have such a son, too....!

Wine and Words said...

At almost 80, I don't think I'm going to live a day to see them sober. It's just not in the cards. I'm so glad for you Ben...that there was something from it all that was worth holding on to in the end. Great post!

She Writes Here Now said...

I love the way you did this piece about your father. It weaves his brokenness with his logic--humanity. It's a beautiful thing he got help.

(I have a small editing suggestion about your writing. Majoring in English. If you're interested you can email me. Address at blog. My hobby :).)