Monthly Archives: July 2012

Lawn Service

Now that my father was back to drinking at full speed it was unpredictable when he would be awake and when he would be asleep.  The only thing that was predictable is when he was awake, he was drinking.  I was not really around my father as I work from home and spent my time in the office I used.  Other than that, I tried to keep my distance from him to show him I did not accept his drinking in any way.   Plus, every time I did encounter my father, he was always ranting and raving about something.

One time, my father was complaining about how the neighborhood boy came to the house and asked him for the seven dollars my father owed him for cutting the lawn.  My father claimed that he had never seen the boy before and he never had anyone mow his lawn.  He kept ranting about how the little boy was trying to “screw him over” and trying to “scam” him because he cut his own grass.  He also mentioned a few times about how the little boy was a “con artist”.

The truth of the matter is, he used to have this boy come over every week to cut his lawn for about two or three months.  In fact, my father had told me before that he had the boy from down the street cut his lawn for him.  Apparently he was too intoxicated to remember that he was always too drunk to mow his own lawn.


Special Delivery: Part 2

I am ashamed to admit that there was one time, and one time only that I bought my father his whiskey.  I felt like I did not have a choice because my father was extremely drunk on this day, he could barely talk and could not even call my name or tell me what he wanted from the store.  I was in the basement watching TV when my father called my name and mumbled some other words I could not make out.

So, I went upstairs to see what he wanted.  It started out that he wanted me to go buy him a pack of cigarettes.  After I agreed and he handed me the money, he thew in that he also wanted a pint of whiskey.  I did not want to buy the whiskey for him!  I paused for a moment trying to think of a more polite way to say, “are you out of your f%$*&#g mind?!”  I was extremely angry that he would even ask me to do such a thing and before I could respond he just said “never mind, I can go get it myself”.

So, there it was.  Buy the whiskey for my father or let him drive drunk to the corner store.  When I got to the store, and and placed my father’s order, the clerk said, “you must be (my father’s name)’s son.”  That was it for me, the last straw.  I was extremely embarrassed and I was infuriated at the entire situation.  I did not even reply to the clerk and walked out the door after I bought my father’s cigarettes and whiskey.

When I brought the cigarettes and whiskey back to my father, I told him to never ask me to buy the s#*t for him again.  He started crying and I walked away.

Special Delivery

My father continued to drink all day and all night and pretty soon, he would not even go to the store to buy alcohol.  How did he continue to drink all day without going to buy it at the store himself, you ask?  Well,  “conveniently” for my father, the liquor store at the corner of our street actually delivered the alcohol to his doorstep.  Can you imagine that?  The store itself delivered my father his daily fix every morning.  As soon as they opened their doors, my father would call them up and tell them to bring it by.

This made me extremely angry.  How is it that a liquor store does not notice that a person who wants beer and whiskey delivered to his house every day at 9 am has a problem? I always wondered at what point do they assume some type of responsibility?  Are they allowed to cut him off or refuse service as a bartender can when a customer is blatantly and belligerently drunk?  If they are, they should not be able to serve someone who regularly orders the same thing day in and day out.  I knew they knew him, and I know they knew him quite well.  I know this from a personal experience I am ashamed to admit to anyone.

Reorganizing His Drinking Schedule

Soon enough my father started to drink during the day time little by little.  Eventually, he just gave up on being productive and would drink at every waking moment.  He started to pass out during the day or in the middle of the night or whenever the alcohol would take him over.  He would black out on the couch and wake up at random times only to drink more.

This is when I started to see a pattern and realized that maybe he did go to “rehab” so he could be a functional alcoholic opposed to quitting all together.  You see, when he returned from each rehab trip he would be productive during the day, it was like he was “normal”.  He would finish whatever tasks he had to do for the day and then sit down and start drinking, but would drink only a few drinks.

Maybe the first time when he decided to go to rehab, he decided to go because he realized that he was being taken over by his drinking habits and he needed a quick fix to lessen the severity of his addiction.  That may have worked before but this time, the effects from “rehab” did not last as long as they did the first time.

This time, he had fewer and fewer tasks to get done and would start drinking more and earlier into the day.   He would eventually start to get his days mixed up because of the random times he would pass out and wake up.  Because of this he started to forget what day it was and it seemed like he forgot he had any responsibilities at all.

He was now starting to drink all day as well as all night within a few short weeks (instead of a couple of months down the line like the last time), and he would only go to sleep (opposed to blacking out) when he was out of alcohol so he could sober up to drive to the store and restock the fridge.

Drinking Every Night

Although I was disappointed at my father for starting to drink after his second attempt at “rehab”, I never said anything to him about how I felt or how he should stop drinking after he acted like he did not want to drink any longer.  So, the day’s went by and after his little binge, he fell off the wagon once again and was drinking every day…well every night.

Here was my justification for this madness.  I kept telling myself “at least he is not drinking during the daytime”.  I am not proud of this justification, but it worked for me at the time.  I guess this was the part where I was still making up excuses for my father because he was still productive during the day.

As he would only drink at night, he would wake up in the morning and the first thing he would do after drinking a cup of coffee was to go to the store and buy more beer for the night.  He would still drink about a 12 pack of beer on average a night.  However, after his trip to the store, he would look for a job, eat dinner with my girlfriend and I when we would cook and he would even do the yard work.

This was all a shock to me because when he lived a the house by himself, he would have a neighborhood kid cut the lawn for him, he would eat bologna sandwiches every day and he would unproductively sit on the couch.  This is when it occurred to me that maybe he did not go out of state so he could stop drinking, he just wanted to re-organize his drinking schedule.

Drinking on a Friday Night

The Friday after my father came back from his 2nd rehabilitation – one week after he came home, he had 11 beers left in the fridge.  Can you guess how many he drank?

While I was completely expecting him to drink 5 beers on Friday night and the remaining 6 on Saturday night, I woke up to quite the surprise.  ALL 11 BEERS WERE GONE!  The empty box was thrown onto the counter as if it were a trophy for him.  From having gone out Friday night myself, I asked if he had anyone over that could have assisted him in drinking the 11 beers.  My father replied with a simple “no” as if nothing had happened at all.  I was quite disgusted.

Also to my surprise, I found that when I was throwing out some garbage in the trash can in the kitchen, there was an empty pint of whiskey.  Words can not describe how I felt.  I was beyond disgusted and beyond disappointed in him.  How could he do this?  Why is he drinking this much again?  Like most things, my girlfriend was right and I should have listened to her instead of thinking that one drink could lead to eleven beers plus a pint of whiskey in a few short hours.

There were no migraines to speak of.  He was not working and had not been around distraught customers.  There was NO excuse for any of this!  He seemed happy the first day he walked in the door one week ago.  He seemed better, I should have trusted my gut last weekend.

First Week Back

The first day my mother was gone, I thought for sure this would be the day my father started to drink again.  But, he seemed to be pretty active.  He not only cleaned the house, but he was whistling while he cleaned.  I told my girlfriend, I was surprised because I have not heard him whistle in a very long time.  I thought this could be a good sign.

After he cleaned, he went shopping to buy all the things he claimed he needed when he was out of state.  Including, a few items of clothing, a new wireless router for his computer and some other toiletries he needed at home.   I remember thinking to myself “aand he needed all of this when he was gone? These items were the necessities that he demanded he needed to buy?  What would he have done with his wireless router in a different state?”

Oh yeah, there was one more thing he bought on his “shopping spree”: a 6-pack of beer.  Of course, I did not notice he bought the beer because it must have been hidden.  I did not notice the beer in the fridge until the next morning when I saw an empty beer bottle and 5 beers in the fridge.  Just as I was about to have some inkling of faith in my father, he went and did something like this.  Of course he waited until my mom could not turn around to com back and pick him up.

Anyway, I figured, it was just one beer.  My girlfriend had a different opinion.  She told me not to get my hopes up and that one beer will turn into more.  While in the back of my mind, I knew this was more than likely the outcome of the week, I still tried to be optimistic – this was on a Monday – I thought I would watch what my dad’s next move was throughout the week.

On Tuesday, I found that my father was spending his time between applying for jobs and watching TV.  This day, he drank 2 beers.

Wednesday, he drank 3 beers – the 6 pack was gone and he did not refill it until Thursday.

Thursday, my father bought a 15 pack of beer.  Out of this case, he drank 4….are you starting to see a pattern here?

First Weekend Back

A few short days later, my father came home.  Four weeks ago, he went to my grandmother’s house to get sober.  After all the crying and begging to come pick him, he seemed to be in a pretty good mood when he arrived back at home.  Not only was he in a good mood, I was surprised at how healthy he looked.  I was surprised as I thought he would come home upset with me that it took so long for him to get home.

However, his good mood did not deceive me.  I figured he was in a good mood because he was back and he could get back to the drinking grind.  But, the first day he got back, we went to a family barbecue where beer was available –  I thought this would be dangerous for him – but he did not drink a single drop.  I still remained skeptical because when we got home, my dad went to his favorite chair in front of the television and as he was watching TV, the look in his eyes told me something different.

It was like he was not watching TV at all, he was just blankly staring at the TV with a glare in his eye.  This was the moment I figured I would watch his actions over the next few days to see if he would do anything rash.  At this point, I knew two things: 1. my mom was leaving on Sunday (two days from then) and 2. my dad was putting on a show for my mom so she would not demand that he come back with her to my grandmothers.

On Saturday, he went to a baseball game to where I was sure he would drink.  But, 9 innings later, he arrived back home sober.  Then, Sunday rolled around and I was sure that he would run out the door as soon as my mother left.  However, that was not the case, he still seemed happy and it looked like he may stay sober this time.

“Rescue Attempts”

The calls did not let up as the weeks passed by.  My father grew more persistent about trying to get me to come and pick him up.  The longer that was away from his house where he could drink freely the more the calls I received.  I would get calls from as early as 7:00a.m. to as late as 10:00p.m..  He was trying as hard as he could to get me to drive to another state to pick him up.

He tried every excuse in the book for me to pick him up.  From making up appointments that he had with doctors for his “migraines” – saying he could not miss the appointment, to trying to bribe me by offering me money.  A few times, he mentioned how he was going to get on a bus that would take him home.  He like to point out that it was an 18 hour bus trip that would drop him in a completely unsafe part of town, as if he was trying to make me feel guilty or feel bad about this.  I knew he was not going to get on a bus and come home and I felt he needed to stay there and get better.

Apparently, I was not alone, he was also trying to get anybody that would answer his calls to come and “rescue” him.  But, everyone else turned him down – they knew what was going on and wanted him to get better as well – as they did not want to be the one to pick him up and ruin his chances of staying sober.

In the beginning of the fourth week, his constant attempts to get me to pick him up suddenly stopped.  Two entire days had passed by before I heard from him.  However, when I did hear from him, I was disappointed to hear what he had to say.  He had given me the news that he would be coming back home in just a few short days.  He claimed that he felt great and his time away has shown him that he did not need to drink.

This time, I did not buy into his claims this time.  I took everything that he said with a grain of salt.   I was fully prepared for yet another failed rehabilitation.  I guess that I would find out soon enough if my suspicions were valid.