He was like a man who discovered his past by accident in a haze of heroin he’d boiled and poured into his eyes. We were afraid of him but we wanted to respect him even though he’d collapsed his veins and wore shades to protect his bloodshot orbs. My mother prayed because there wasn’t any other hope for us. We were a near fatherless group of four living in a trailer a mile outside of town, but Mom never complained about our bastard lives. He loved us with a deadbeat father’s half-hearted devotion, and I’m sure he was always gone to keep us from the line of fire.
They found him in a ditch when I was eleven, and we buried him in another with the help of a local church where Mom spent most of her time. She was the exhausted demigod to Dad’s total devil but we were too young to know why she was tired. Now she rests the way an angel might that had outlasted hell.
If only we could learn to sleep so furiously.