Drunken Boxing

There is a raw feeling which accompanies being struck in the face. Your skin goes flush before a sudden reddening, as blood rushes to the surface. A hot flame of pain.

Shouting. In my home there was always shouting. And screaming.

In my home there was shouting, screaming and the dull muffle of sobbing which trailed into the night like a wake, once my father had finally collapsed onto a bed or if he had instead left the house, to drink some more.

One of my memories as a child was leering at my father until he decided to retaliate. My acting up was as a result of him having stumbled into my house, drunk. This happened often. Overtime I took greater risks when confronting him, becoming particularly cocky aged ten, eleven or twelve. I remember on that particular occasion regretting my action. My regret was quickly distilled by his first punch.

Sometimes I think my laughter originates from a superficial place. It is farcical, something spontaneous, often emerging and dissipating with equal haste. My father had failed to see it this way, that time when he laid into me. The innocent stubbornness of a cheeky child. Am I not even more stubborn now? Somewhere, my laughter had registered as an insult in his psyche.

Lesson learnt. I learnt many lessons, the hard way.

Alcohol distorted my father, inside and out. I have to fight to remember him as a light-hearted, well intentioned man. Far, far easier to see his face and feel hurt, in my inside, all the way out. When my father was drunk, his eyes became shattered orbs, emitting piercing red light through emergent cracks. His face, reddened. Manifesting anger. His actions would become emboldened. In this, his uninhibited state, there were no barriers to his fury.

The nightmares I suffer sometimes provide flashbacks of my childhood. One day I hope to be free of the nightmares. I become ten, or eleven, or twelve.  I remember rolling with the punches. And I kept standing.


3 Responses to “Drunken Boxing”

  1. Sounds like you’re stronger because of it. Sounds like you yearn to forgive too unless you have already.

  2. So many people I know and love have fallen victim to the same man, a drunken father figure. A bully in charge. A man punishing people he loves because they are standing up for their rights.

    That experience is why you are not that man, nor will you ever tolerate it in your life.


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