I can hear him coming up the stairs. The suede shoes he wears to work knock at the wooden steps, his breathing labored. He might have a heart attack tonight, I hoped. It’s almost part of my daily routine: Ensure to consciously hope for dad’s demise. He was pounding at the door and trying the handle. “Hey,” he said. “Open this door. Open the goddamn door and I wont hit you. I promise. I wont do it. But you have to open up. You hear me?”
“No!” I said.
His fists hammered against the door causing it to shiver in its hinges. He was hysterical now, yelling out half-formed words and mumbling obscenities. He must’ve done more coke, I knew I wasn’t imagining that. Oh shit, he might actually have a heart attack. Maybe he’s having one now? I don’t care. I really don’t, but I am nervous and afraid. I can usually expect his aggression but this time he wants to kill animals, something I am not completely surprised by, but definitely hoped this day wouldn’t ever come. Now I don’t know what to expect, I never thought too far in this direction. This was not an outcome I ever saw for myself. This reality is so fresh and new that I am present for its creation by the moment. I understand who I am and where I stand in the grand scheme of things. My father is currently operating mentally in an alternate reality. I must remain on my path and not get tangled up in his. I don’t know what to do in this current state of hyper-awarness, so I’m going to stand in the dark, let time sweep it away and hope he stops pounding at the door and dies so no animals have to get killed.
Dad killed both the dogs by himself. The neighbors found him the next morning passed out over the two bloodied bodies of their pooches. The neighbors called the police right away and my father was arrested with charges of animal cruelty and possession of a controlled substance. His bail is too high so he has to stay in jail until his court date next week. It doesn’t matter what happens to him, I’m merely giving you an update on my father’s whereabouts, it has nothing to do with what happens to me, and isn’t that what matters the most here?
After my time in the darkness, I realized that I was willing to die if it meant I did not have to do a thing I did not want to do. My resolve was anchored down that night, I was not going to kill anything, and to betray this would be of the gravest self-maim. Therefore, I understood what it meant to let time carry oneself to wherever one must be, even if one does not know where that is. Living truly is the only life that matters, all others are lies. I must now leave this place and start some kind of life of my own. I’m young and eager to breathe fresh air.