15 September 2013
My father’s name was well-known in the small town I grew up in. Whether it was the drug dealer, the ass hole who ran you off the road the day before, or the “overly involved with the community church” guy, everyone knew him somehow. Though man people believed they knew everything about my dad, no one knew of his actual, selfish ways. The first impression that my father gives off is typically a harmless man with his head on remotely straight. That is half true; he never had a problem getting on his feet and getting things done after he got himself in some kind of mishap. The only problem is that his poor self-esteem and addiction to drugs always pushed him back down. My father’s priorities have never been straight and, unfortunately, that affected more than just him, but the rest of my family as well. Every decision formed by carelessness and misunderstanding started to reflect his personality and how others saw him.
My father always had a way of getting what he wanted. His strive to always want more made him an expert at it. He was like a snake- seemingly harmless, until you notice the giant fangs dripping poison. With that being said, it’s easy to make the assumption that his words were venomous. That is, when he would speak at all. For a man with a ton of friends and a full family, he spent a lot of time alone, isolated from everyone. He would lock himself in his room often, and when someone bothered him, he would snap at them and say hateful things. He rarely had any concern for anything that didn’t involve money or power. My father tried to act like he was big and bad and could take anyone that confronted him, but he knew he wasn’t. His walk was one to remember, stomping into a room with his head held high, never making eye contact with anyone else in the room, and usually wearing brand new shoes that were at least one size too big for him. He tried to hide his insecurities behind material things, like his “decked out” red ’98 Dorango. I chose to ride the bus to and from school because he would drive up to the front blaring uncut rap music. “Jessica, have you heard this song? This one is my favorite,” and it would be a song about sex and drugs; lovely. When I try to think back and remember good memories with my father, most of them just make me laugh because they are his awkward attempts at trying to show he doesn’t completely hate me.
My father always made sure that my family and I had the things we desired but never took into consideration the consequences that came with how he obtained these things and eventually, it caught up to him. The first time I saw him sitting in an orange jumpsuit behind a thick layer of glass was the first time I saw regret in his eyes. After that, everything seemed to go downhill for him. He was only in jail for a small amount of time, but by the time he got out, my siblings and I had moved in with my mother. This was about the time that he found out he had Hepatitis C and his liver was not doing well. There’s no question as to how he got the illness, but the news was surprising to everyone. His relationship with my younger brother started to fade, and my sister and I were both at the age that we were too concerned with other things to actually realize what was going on. It wasn’t until I got a phone call from my aunt telling me that my father had tried committing suicide that I started to see how badly he was truly hurting, inside and out. As I walked down the hall of the hospital, I tried to conjure up the words I was going to say, and by the time I saw him lying in the bed, I was speechless. My father never looked like he was one hundred percent healthy by any means. He was as pale as a ghost, no matter the season, and way too skinny for his own good, but this time it made my stomach churn. It looked like someone took black chalk and made little circles around his eyes and then threw in some yellow in the…