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Our Father (standard:drama, 2907 words)
Author: CalisAdded: Sep 13 2000Views/Reads: 3036/1461Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
This is a story about two brothers and their abusive father and their lives after the father dies.

Our Father 

I could barely see him through the thick haze of fog that can only be
found on a cold summer's day in San Francisco. Sam just stood there, 
only about ten feet from me in front of His gravestone; his blank 
facade of silence and emptiness was a mask of cold obsidian. It was 
hard for me just to look at my brother Sam. I couldn't even imagine the 
despair that I knew he was feeling after what he had been through. The 
unruly drunkard of a man who started drinking every morning at 7:30 and 
stopped just after midnight, the man whom I had hated, yet he had 
adored, was gone forever and it was strange really, the only loss I 
felt was for Sam. Sam was just standing there, like a cold piece of 
pumice that has crashed into the Pacific Ocean after flowing down the 
steep walls of Mt. Kilauea. Seeing Sam like he was and would be 
forevermore. The sorrow was just eating him apart. His thin 5'11" frame 
shuddered under the intense weight of the world that has just landed on 
top of him. A boy of nine should not be forced to carry all that weight 
and I could not help him. He felt that this was something each person 
needs to go through for himself. He would not let me come close. He was 
one step closer to the end and I could almost see the worms attacking 
his decomposing body. 

I had not known that my father had passed away. I had been sitting in
the lush green arboretum, feeding the birds. 

"So, you doing OK man?" my friend Nick asked as he approached me. 

My eyebrows began to contract and the edges of my mouth began to lower
as I felt that something was wrong. "What d'you mean?" I asked 

Nick stood there. His jaw somewhat lower than it should have been. 

"You mean you don't know about your father? He's gone man, you're free."

I felt like an earthquake no smaller than the one that had shattered San
Francisco in '89 had rocked me. Not him, I thought. They must be wrong. 
I hadn't even know he had been sick, hadn't even cared for that matter. 
I could not believe that Satan himself had died, but then, when the 
rest of the mourners began to show up, one of them showed me this 
morning's paper so that I could see how well he was loved. I knew then 
that he was gone and he would also take the Sam I knew with him, much 
like our small house on Chestnut Street in the Marina District had been 
caught in that raging blaze in the aftermath of the quake in '89. The 
fact is I didn't know what to feel, much like my brother, who just 
stood there, silent and cold, morosely hating the world for the father 
it had taken away from him. I too was silent, and yet I was only a 
spectator. I could only watch his pain from afar, not share it as I 
longed to, if only to ease Sam's pain. I was different from the man I 
saw, who stood outside as the rain poured down his face. I had hated 
our father. 

Tired, and haggard, I stiffly awaken. I had dreamt about the funeral
again, that fateful event, almost thirty years ago. I am barely able to 
stand now. I can see that my pets have already woken up and begun to 
gather around rigid body. The pigeons, squirrels and even the 
occasional gopher would come from miles around to feast on the crumbs 
of my despair. They seem to be ready for their morning meal. I deftly 
shake the tattered shreds of cloth that I wear around me so that 
anything that had chosen to spend the night in the warm recesses of my 
body will be carried away with the howling of the cold, harsh wind that 
comes off the bay as if it has just rushed past a glacier. I get my 
small bag of sourdough breadcrumbs, that the amiable workers from 
Boudin on Chestnut Street had given to me and slowly toss them, careful 
to spread them out so my babies won't fight. They come every morning 
hoping that I have some food for them. Some days I do. Other times, I 
barely have enough to keep myself alive. These small pieces of 
sustenance are the keys to my survival as well and I need to provide 
for myself as well as I can. Tonight I will need to find more food. I 
will also look for a new place to sleep. This street isn't safe any 
more. The once quiet area of the northern Marina has become a haven for 
myriad gangs and thugs that walk the streets at night, who, if they 
felt bored enough, might happen to pick on an old broken man. I can't 
stay on these streets forever. 

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