Monday, July 13, 2009

Entry #106

Good Night
by Kim Smith


It’s time to put her to bed. She’s asleep from all the wine but this time she didn’t start yelling. It’s always worse when she yells. Overall, it’s been a good night.

It’s not hard to put her to bed when she’s drunk. She just falls into me. It’s like she knows she’s wasted and she lets me guide her to the bedroom. She’s like a big doll that flops on the mattress, almost like she’s dead. But I know she’s not dead because she always curls up with the pillow and tells me she loves me. I love her, too.

I can’t forget to set the alarm. Tomorrow’s a workday. I’ll do what I can to help her be ready for work. Oatmeal, coffee, and aspirin set out for breakfast. Cell phone in the briefcase. Keys by the purse. She’ll move slowly, grabbing her head and complaining but I have a system that always gets her in the car and on her way to work by 7:15.

The blue glow from the TV illuminates her sad face. I hate this part. Waking her up. She always starts crying when she looks at me. But we need to go to bed.

She left a whole glass of wine on the table. It’s the first thing I pick up because that’s the last thing she needs to see in the morning. I pour it down the sink and sigh. Flexing my arms, I prepare to put mom to bed.

25 comments:

wrath999 said...

Excellent stuff here

alex

Merry Monteleone said...

Wow... really excellent. You just made my short list.

Laurel said...

This is heartwrenching. Beautifully written with such personal details. Heartwrenching.

I need a drink.

Kurt Hendricks said...

You did a great job capturing the complex emotions at play in this relationship - shame, love, pity, depression. Great work.

Rohan said...

Very well portrayed...great work Kim...i can see a lot of thought going into this one..

JR's Thumbprints said...

The poor narrator is an enabler. Nice portrayal of their relationship and the circumstances.

Sonia said...

A Nicely portrayed relationship

Leatherdykeuk said...

Great characterisation

laughingwolf said...

nice twist, too...

Catvibe said...

The sad part about this is it is really too common in this world. I feel badly for both of them. You did a great job here.

Aniket said...

I don't know what to say. The sadness in the piece is holding me from using words like 'great' and 'loved it'to describe it.

I'll just say this was excellent writing.

Beth Harar said...

You truly evoke emotion from the reader. Nice job.

Kim Smith said...

Thank you for your kind words!

Karen said...

The world you portray here is all too real; you convey it most excellently!

Therese said...

Sigh. This is too many kids' story.

Well written, Kim. This made me sad.

BernardL said...

You captured it perfectly.

pjd said...

Damn! Blogger ate my original comment. It was brilliant. Brilliant, I tell you.

Ah well.

I started off thinking this was an older mom and her grown (50-something) son. At the end I realized it is more likely the teenage son of a single mom.

While I think the story is sad, I don't at all see it as tragic or depressing. In fact, I see a hopefulness here. There appears to be no abuse from the mom, only sadness and escape in her drinking. The son appears to understand that and empathize. I think he will grow up strong emotionally and be able to care for himself and others. There's love in this story.

That said, maybe someone who's in AA may be mad at me for praising the enabler's role here. I know a friend of mine would point that out if he read this comment. But still, I think this is a story with hope underlying the sadness.

Deb S said...

Strong writing. Good twist. Well done.

Chris Eldin said...

This one really tugs at my emotions. It's one of my favorites because the emotional response is so strong.
I agree with PJD, yet I dislike the word "enabler" in this case. I think the son has no choice, really. I think when he's a bit older, he may see more choices, but for now it seems as though he's doing the best he can to keep things going.
Loved this one very much.

rebecca said...

Very sad and you captured well the life of a child that struggles/love a parent who is an alcoholic.

Terri said...

This is very sad, but very well-written and utterly believable as from a child's point of view.

Kim Smith said...

Thank you for taking time to read my story and for your kind comments. I enjoyed it!

Tessa said...

Evocative and powerful, beautifully written. Congratulations!

JaneyV said...

Kim - wonderful writing. I think you got everything just right.

jason evans said...

Heartbreaking. The resignation and unfair maturity. That role reversal. Expertly done.

Perfect score.

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