BY EMILY HOLBEIN
The beauty of life had barely started and was already gone from my twenty-eight years. A phone call now symbolizes something else. I paced back and forth in a drunken stupor under the tree with the rope swing, where my dad would push me higher and higher with no doubts or worries. He was always someone that I looked up to, and an inspiration to many. Memories flooded my brain. I stumbled farther in an unbelieving daze and saw our old barn.
"You fucking took my dad away," I screamed, shouting at the unresponsive wooden hell. My attempt at throwing my beer can was incredibly sad. I guess those years of playing college baseball never played off. I meant to hit the barn, but ending up hitting a fence instead.
Leaning up against the red barn, the clear sky made me feel ill. "Those innocent ones are the ones you have to look out for! Enough is enough!" I pointed at the sky like a fool. Wanting to set everything ablaze, I took out my lighter from my back pocket. "Why are you doing this to me?!" I screamed at the American flag design on my lighter. I saw this symbol everywhere, everyday.
"Why are you tormenting me?!" I yelled, then fell down, with tears streaming down my face. "America the damned is what this is!" I choked on salty tears. I sunk down onto the ground conveniently next to my booze. Bottle after bottle, I became intoxicated and nearly poisoned. Jack Daniels knew how to comfort me, yet beat the shit out of me at the same time. I knew this wouldn't bring him back, but it sure made me feel better. I tried to make the most of a short-lived temporary bliss. It didn't make my dad anymore alive though. The only person I looked up to was gone. I was sick of the war, sick of hearing on the News how other parents had to grieve over their deceased heroes.
"Fuck the media. What the hell do they know anyway? They're full of bullshit."
I used my clenched fist to wipe the stream of tears. I was drowning my sorrows in this liquor heaven. I was fighting against Jack Daniels, against anything I could manage to find. Fighting seemed to be the only thing that was present in my life, which was followed by the act of losing. I was alone at the empty farm with no one around for miles. I drank the rest from the almost empty bottle. Those shots passed through me and there I sat, weeping to an oak tree on how Iraq had won.