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Open Letter to my Father

Every time I get a phone call from someone close to you, I think they're going to tell me you didn't make it. I always hold my breath and wait for their big "punch line" because why on earth would they call me if it wasn't about me having to do something about you.

You are a force of destruction, you sip your scotch and make your friendships and you pull the thread from sweaters that unravel while you laugh and tell stories of better times. There were no better times. There's just you, thinking everyone else is having a great time, while you escape your sad reality. The truth is, there is just too much passion in there to keep sober. I know the feeling. I got it all from you. The world is a tiny tiny little bubble that you just can't fit into. We can't carry your fire.

You are the lyrics of the song Gasoline. You are explosive and you never learned how to make the fire be controlled, so you burn fast like Cali and you don't give a fuck about all the broken hearts and broken promises. Promises you never made. People say about you: he's not any worse than he's ever been- he has always been like this, he was born like this.

But I'm tired, daddy, of thinking I need to keep you far so that you can exist in your flame. Of thinking I have to find a way to pay for your sins. For fearing my habits thinking I'll become you. I'm tired of being at the bottom line of your emergency contact list. I'm tired of hearing that my dad was always like this and knowing when you saw your newborn child it didn't cause you to understand the world in a different way and to make it worth it to remember a single fucking day.

People are not against you. There is no army of crazy women that you ended up getting entangled with. The women who have loved you are powerful. They are brilliant. They are intelligent. They are hopeful. The women who have made a life with you were dreamers and achievers. I know because I am them. And I know that we have never been against you, not for a second. I know that we have never stopped dreaming about a you that finally realized that all this fire is something you can roast marshmallows on, and cuddle up to, and see memories in.

It doesn't have to be this messy. There is no line written on a page that tells me that you are at a crossroads. It's not some ultimate decision between sobriety and destruction. It's whatever the fuck you want it to be, but god- don't you want it to be... different? Like pick steak over the salmon, different? You wanted a new baby- to redeem yourself and have a family. Dad, you always had a family. You always had a seat a the table. You have always had everything sitting here on the sidelines, waiting for you to look up.

You are better than this. You deserve better than this. You deserve to realize that we are here, and we are just like you, and our day is different because we simply woke up on the other side of the bed, or felt okay just breathing. You are incredible, but I need to not be afraid of getting a phone call. I need to not hear that you are fine because you have always been like this.

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