I wouldn’t say I am religious, but there’s one aspect of religion that I would say connects to my life. And that would be the concept of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
Only difference is, it’s not a case for good for me. And in my case it’s more like the Sloth, the Drunkard and the Unholy Profanity.
You might have already read the first part of the three, discussing my father and giving one of many reasons why I don’t drink. But as I thought more about writing that, I kept thinking about the other men in my life, and the ones who are no longer on this planet.
First off, my father’s father. The man who was in the Second World War, fighting in the RAF, I believe. He died a slob, only caring where his packet of cigarettes were and about his daughter, a spoilt brat.
I don’t have many memories of my grandfather, but the ones of him are usually the same. He’s sat in a chair in the back of the room, facing the television, talking croakily in an attempt to look pleased that we had come to visit.
Every time I think back to him sitting there, as if the bones in his legs had turned to dust, my thoughts turned to visions of my future. I saw myself in that exact same place, cheering as I managed to get a lower scoring answer than a contestant on Pointless. Only getting up to visit the toilet, with every room covered in a haze of smoke, as if it was a re-enactment of a house fire. You know, that sort of thing.
One thing that hit me most about him is when he died and my relatives went to the will reading, he had left everything to his only daughter, and nothing to his two sons. I don’t know about you but that seems rather unfair to me.
So, my grandfather was the Sloth, and my father was the Drunkard, what of the Unholy Profanity?
He, genetically, was my grandfather on my mother’s side. He, realistically, is a manifestation of all that can be wrong in a man. If you can call him a man.
He, too, was involved in the Second World War. Not entirely sure how much involved but it doesn’t really matter for this. But as he filled his marital home with plentiful children, it seemed to open up a can of worms.
He, a someone who giving male pronouns is too much of a compliment, was a bully. He had no good in him. He only looked out for one thing – himself. He was undeniably violent to my grandmother and his children, like braking a child’s instrument just because they where practising inside the house, or killing the house pet the moment one child disagreed with him.
It was when my grandmother hit pension age that she finally gained the courage to leave this abomination. It was after she left him that everybody went to the police about him.
He was arrested, and was due to be in court.
But he took the coward’s way out.
Someone found him dead, alone in a house. He had killed himself, preferring to face the darkness of death than a cell.
You might ask yourself why on earth am I sharing this with you. I know I am. It’s been on my mind ever since I understood about these things almost eight years ago now.
And as I think about it, the more I begin to hate myself. I look in the mirror each day, and I see each face. The slob who only cared about his favourite child; the drunkard who only cared about drink; and the coward who only looked out for himself. That’s why I can’t look at myself in the mirror for too long.
And that’s why I am like I am. I try my hardest not to be like them, being the polar opposite of each of them – a tee-totaller who tries to please everybody and is not afraid of work.
But what hurts me more than anything is that, no matter how hard I try to be the opposite of them, there’s potential in me that I am like them. There’s potentially a violent, selfish drunkard ready to awaken in my blood. I, in a way, live in fear of potential.
And because of that, I find it difficult to socialise. The alcohol is the biggest barrier for me connecting with others it seems, but I fear allowing people inside this shell that I have decided to build around myself will just show people a darker side of me that I have no idea if it exists or not.
And that, as they say, is that. Maybe next time I won’t be so self-indulgent. Or God forbid, write something more jolly.