Phillip Clarke

Ms. Remund

ENG 101 7/6/06


Tears of Forever

No tears were ever shed. Only a few times the emotional crystals have fallen from my eyes. I remember every one of the tears and why they fell away from me. I don't regret anything anymore. Pain is just there to remind me that I'm still connected to this part of the world. Sometimes I think I do need harsh reality checks to keep me from dreaming too much. I dream of things that can never be. The quest of reaching for dreams has left me wounded in some ways. I don't think I dream enough anymore. I don't cry enough any more. I want to. I want to let it all out but this barricade builds in my throat and makes the pain of holding back more intense. I want things to be the way I see them. They aren't. I feel disappointed. Progression of life carries me through and soon I forget the loss. I forget the feeling of hope for that monumental moment in life. I don't remember the lifted feeling and dancing in wonder at the possibilities. Life carries me forward and I forget. I become lava: I shine very bright and warm then I fade away to stillness and nobody would ever know that I had risen from a mountain because I could not be contained anymore. I become everything that I had covered in my journey from the mountain. I just wait until something covers me and I feel better because I won't have to worry about going on adventures. I can sit here unnoticed and be safe.

It never works out; the progression of the world entices me to move. So I become what I was before. The cycle continues. I chase dreams and ideas then fade away when I find out that I could never be what I imagine I could be. I turn away and run when I find the true reality hiding behind every smile and every word. Is it paranoia that follows my mind? What am I afraid of? Like always, I know the answer but I play stupid. Sometimes I have to know though. I have to reach my limits. I have to surpass everything that I've ever known. I burst out of my shell and explore the world. Possibilities are everywhere. Ideas are up in the air ready to grab hold of and make true. People are waiting to be changed. I have to see what I can do. I just have to know what my limits are. I always know what happens when I do reach my limits though. The tears come and they don't stop. I just lie still and enjoy the moment. Loud moans of pain come from my body. I shake and shiver. It relaxes me. Limits always have drastic effects. I know that but I have to try every time. Stupid me.

Other people have limits. I don't care. I'm a dreamer. At times I really feel that they can become something more than what they are. I think too much and my dreams carry me to places that couldn't possibly exist. Soon I'm sitting in my room again staring at the ceiling and I've already thought up a life that adds up to five years. My mind falls back and I'm hit hard by something concrete. Reality can't be seen but it can be felt. When I drift off like that and come back, reality always hits me the hardest. It makes me sad that the world can be anything and people choose not to take part in themselves.

I remember my father. The earliest memory is when I was very young and we still lived in an old trailer house. I was the second born. My parents were just starting out on their own when I came into this world. My brother Steve was already two years older than me. My Grandma had bought a trailer house for my mom and dad. They moved from the country side into the small village of Oglala. That's where I grew up. That is where I remember my father. This is where I want to go back to. I can't so I hold onto the memories and cherish them. My father was younger then. I think he was happier too. He smiled all the time in those days. I have never seen any of other part of him. I imprinted this in my mind. My loving father always. It was unfair. Down the line things changed too much. I'm sorry to say that he couldn't be what I imagined him to be. But I still love him. I've seen his soul in my memories. It was filled with possibilities and dreams that I wish he had accomplished. I love my father. I hate what this world has done to him.

My father went on a slow decline. We moved out of that little trailer house and into a different one that was a little bigger. By this time Ida and Tynan had been born. Patrick was still waiting to be brought into this world. It would not be until 1996 that out family would be complete. There were four of us and that was enough for now. My dad had managed to get a job and the casino. I remember it had just opened and when he came home he was ecstatic. He wouldn't stop smiling. He had gotten a job. I don't know if it was his first one. I do know it was the only job he has had in my eighteen years of knowing him. He made it to work everyday. He earned some employee of the month plaques to put on the wall. He bought me a bike for my birthday. He was doing well. I don't remember any chronological order to all of this. I do know that it was probably a big change for my mother and father. They were both young parents.

Things get blurry. I think it's because I keep my good memories apart from my bad memories. In my memories I live in two separate realities. It's very hard to keep track of events in any particular order. Anyway, the change from good to bad can't really be a slow progression. I remember the good things about my father but at the same time I remember all the bad things about him. It seemed that when we moved into the new trailer house my father had turned into a different person. I can remember him in my life when I was very young but in my preteen years I can't really recall him being there. I do remember the instances of him when he was angry. I stayed out a couple hours past curfew at a friends house. I had to call for a ride home. I didn't tell my parents. I stayed after school and went to my friends house. No big deal to me. It made my parents worry. When my mom picked me up she was disappointed. I didn't want her to be disappointed. I knew I had done wrong. I was more afraid of what my dad would do. When my mom and I arrived at the house my dad was waiting. I remember he yelled at me for a very long time. I don't know how to express the hurt I felt. I was crying. I was afraid. This man I knew was something else. And I seen inside of the person and there was something inside him that did not belong. It was not fully grown but it was there. I wish I could go back now and just help my father at that moment. I didn't know how tough things were getting. For him it was the starting of a downward spiral. I'm sorry.

I don't know how long my father has been drinking. It just sort of happened. One day I knew he was drunk. The next day he wasn't. Then he would come home drunk a few nights in a row. I don't know how long this has been going on. I know that I had come to accept it. This is how he is. I was young when I came to that conclusion. I didn't know how to reflect on things. I didn't have any philosophy or beliefs. I'm just glad that I was not closed minded. I always observed his behavior and what affects it had on everybody in our house. I was never afraid of him. I always had confrontations with him. It was how I dealt with it. I yelled at him and called him names. I knew he was drunk. I didn't care for him. One day I realized why I act different around him when he is drunk. I realized that he was not the same person. This thing had taken a hold of him and wouldn't let him go. It made him into a completely different person. It feed off of his negative energy. I wanted to destroy this thing but I didn't know how to fight it. I felt helpless so I just threw little stones at it hoping it would get tired of me and my attitude and go away. It never did. It probably never will. I had to test my limits against it. I had to confront it fully.

I was ready when I finally confronted his demon. It was a normal day. Everything was flowing as it always does in my house. I didn't pay any mind to anything. I just wanted to relax. I wanted to lie on my couch and take in the smell of my moms cooking. I was sprawled out, shirtless, and enjoying my giant bean bag pillow.

The living room of my house is one big room. One half is tile and that's where the kitchen and dining table are. The other half is the living room. Two couches sit facing towards to TV. X BOX controllers are laying on the floor: the wires are a tangled mess.

I hear some footsteps outside. Somebody is walking up the steps towards the door. They stop for a moment. I sit up. My jumpiness is natural. I'm always watching who comes in and out of the house. My animalistic instincts are in gear when I'm at home. It's me in my natural habitat.

The door swings open. A rush of wind comes through the house. Papers fly off the table. The air is cold, scentless.

"Who's there?" I say. It's dark outside. I don't see anybody. I get up to see who pushed the door open. A low growl comes from outside. The voice is gravely and harsh, too much cigarettes and a lot of anger.

I pause. It's him, the Demon. I stop. I sit back down. I know who is at the door. I say silent prayers. The prayers aren't directed toward any kind of God. They just come out because I don't know what else to do. I'm sick and tired of this thing coming home and making us all miserable. It's a disease.

"Who's yelling at me in my own damn house?" My dad stumbles in the door with a beer in his hand. It looks like he can barely hold himself up. He is swaying back and forth. His eyes scan the house. I don't know what he is looking for. I don't care. I just hope he doesn't take note of me. I'm invisible. I've learned how to mask body language and not draw attention to myself. I do this when I don't want to talk to him. It works. He walks over to the kitchen.

"Ida," he says. "What's going on?"

"What do you mean?" She answers.

"What's going on?"

"What are you talking about?"

"What is going on," He throws his hands in the air. Some of his beer spills. "You know what I'm talking about. Where is your mom? Is she at her boyfriend's house again?"

"What the hell are you talking about? She doesn't have a boyfriend." She puts two pieces of bread together and begins to walk to her room. She has to get away. I know that she can't deal with him anymore. He always accuses my mom of having a boyfriend. Ida is always the one sticking up for my mom. It's because Ida is the only one that gets asked that question.

I'm glad it didn't escalate into a big argument. If it did I was ready to go downstairs and let them exchange verbal blows. It never gets physical. My dad can keep that demon from hurting anyone. But still, words cut inside of our souls. I've got to many scars and fresh scrapes that still haven't healed.

I hear Ida's door close. I just sit silently, not moving my eyes or showing any discomfort.

My apathy for what's around me keeps me safe. If I don't care then why bother talking to me? He sits down on the other couch. My two little brothers come from the backroom. Go back you dumb-asses. I watch them go into the kitchen. They start making roast beef sandwiches. I can smell it. I want to get up and make one but I don't want to move. It's like a fly that knows he is caught in a web. I'm going to have to move sooner or later.

"Hey, watch it! That was my bread!" Tynan and Patrick begin to argue.

"Well I didn't know," Says Patrick. "Here, have it back."

"I don't want it. You already put your germs on it!"

"Your getting all mad about it, take it."

My dad stands up. He growls again. I flinch.

"Tynan come here." He says. "You shouldn't be mean to your little brother. When me and Chip were growing up we always looked out for each other. We never fought. Too many people were trying to fight us. You're lucky you don't have to grow up in Denver, living in a bar, and having to protect your brother form getting beat up because he had red hair. You know what? You're all just little brats. You whine all the time. 'I can't play my mintendo. Steve's picking on me.' Suck it up. Be a Marine! Go and give your life to save others. Have courage and honor. You little shits don't know anything. I'm sick of talking to you. Phillip, come here."

"What." I say.

"What do you mean what?"


"You never mean anything."

He started getting on my case. I don't know remember what he said and I don't want to remember. I just know that I lashed back at him, and my struggle with the demon began.

"I'm tired of this shit! Leave! Nobody wants you here," I wasn't talking to my dad. "All you do is cause misery. You say things that hurt all of us. You accuse of us things we didn't do. I don't care if you grew up in a bar or had to fight during your childhood. My two little brothers have this life. I want them to enjoy it! You're making things difficult."

With every word it stepped back until I had it against the door. My words kept coming. The truth broke out and all the things that should have been let go were remembered. Nothing was forgiven. I was attacking it directly now. I opened the door and told it to leave and never come back.

And then it did something I never expected it to do. It left. I saw my dad looking at me through his own eyes. Tears were coming out. I started to tear up. My dad was actually here. I remember I loved him. I wanted to save him. This was my chance.

"Dad," I said. "I want you to quit drinking. Please, go to rehab. Get well. It's gonna kill you pretty soon dad. Please don't let that happen."

We were both sobbing. The door was still open. Wind was rushing in.

"I'm trying Phillip. I want to stop. I've tried rehab once and it didn't work. I try to stop. I can't Phillip. I can't do it."

"Yes you can. Just say you're going to quit. Have the casino help you. People know you there. We'll help you too. I just don't want to lose you. Please, that's all I ask is that you try. Even if you fail I want you to try."

The whole family was behind me. I didn't notice them until Ida spoke up.

"Yeah, Dad," She was sobbing too. "Try to quit drinking."

He looked at me for the longest time. I could see into his soul again. I remembered when he was happier. I remembered how he always used to smile. It pained me to see him underneath all this pressure. I knew I could help him. I could save him from this demon that has held him for so long.

"Dad," I say. "We love you."

He breaks eye contact with me. When he looks up me again I know I've lost. His words just confirm it.

"I'm an alcoholic, Phil. I can't quit." And it was him talking. The demon had not come back. He had sealed his own fate.

I left. I went into my bedroom and lied down.

Then the tears came. From nowhere they started running down my face. I quaked. Then I started crying silently. Waves of unheard sobs shook me. When I stopped crying I felt better. There was nothing wrong anymore. The world didn't need to be fixed, I needed to adjust. My will isn't strong enough to move people. I gave up and feel asleep. I never bother to think about it until now. And that's what happened.