Music to Read Words By: Big Sugar – Joe Louis/Judgement Day Live

The door shut behind his son quietly, leaving him alone once more.

10 years ago – no – 5 years ago even – his son would have punctuated his leaving by slamming the door with so much force that it would have rattled the frame that held it and reverberated through the walls. Meeting with his son used to result in the boy having so much anger, so much potential energy that it absolutely had to be expended on a non-living object or else. The anger had dissipated though, and all that was left was a grudging resignation and a door quietly, softly shut to end the everlasting argument between father and son. The door was now treated with reverence. Respect even. At least compared to how father and son treated each other.

Their relationship was always tenuous. From a young age the time when his son was young and he was a new dad, it was more of a righteous struggle for power and control. Lines were drawn, but borders were always crossed in petty battles to earn some pointless conciliation from the other. The father knew the battles were pointless. He was supposed to be the adult, be better than that. Be a good example for the son. He always knew that he should do better. But he never did. The battle itself was always pointless, but it was what he knew. It was comfortable. More comfortable than searching for commonality at least.

Now that the father was older and in a one room home he had plenty of time to see what he had shown over the years of struggle. Slammed doors now shut quietly, and a relationship that his son maintained with him out of obligation alone.

He could see through his son’s eyes how hard it was. He felt the difficulty himself and recalled a time when he went through a similar period with his own father. Though that period was mercifully brief. His own dad had more rage and stupidity than he had ever seen displayed in anyone else. It was unending and remorseless. But it was also short-lived. Just like his father. May he continue to rot.

Kids. Old people. Many say they are not that different. They both shit in diapers. They struggle to stand, to walk on their own. To do anything for themselves. The young though – they have promise. The old show none of that. The father will never get better at something ever again. Just quietly struggle to hold on to the little he has left. Driver’s license – long gone. Mobility – barely holding on. Sanity – still there, but often more a curse than a blessing.

He feels omniscient now. He sees with clarity that he could never achieve when younger. But what good is it? He doesn’t have the power to change anything with it. He still has the same stupid arguments with his son. Nothing will get better and that is the way it has to be.