I lived in a madhouse. Although unfortunately for me, there were no patted rooms or solitude. My madhouse I called home, in central New York where I was born and raised. My home was a madhouse for years although I didn’t know it right away. Having lived in it for eighteen years previously I must have been mad, gone mad to have not realized it.
My father was mean old bastard, a drunk and a loser. A lowly factory worker all his life and the really sad part was he wanted nothing more, strived for nothing more. He was pathetic. Doomed to work, get drunk, come home, drink some more and pass out, to only wake up and do it all again. On the weekends if he didn’t work over time he would sit in his beaten up old chair and watch rerun cowboy serials from his childhood of yesteryear. I guess when things were better, but for him they weren’t. His father abandoned him when he was five leaving him alone with two sisters and a lush of a mother. Maybe the cowboys made him feel young again. Who knows, there is no point in trying to understand him anymore.
He sat on his throne at home and cried poverty at night. Every night he would get so shitfaced he turned every night into a pity party and the world was invited. It was always time to feel sorry for old Joe Kaminski. It made me wish he was sober, but when he didn’t drink he was mean and miserable, so miserable I wished he were drunk. He was just so mean spirited and hateful he was hardly ever easy to tolerate. He did however turn into an all right sort but it wouldn’t last. It exists in his drunken delirium somewhere between miserable and depressed. If he has two few he becomes angry and combative, hating everything in the world around him. If he has two many the pity party begins. If I only knew how many it took to just make him all right.
He and I never spoke much, rarely, sometimes not at all. He and I could go sometimes days to over a week without saying so much as a word to the other and we lived under the same roof, in the same madhouse. He never cared for me much, but the feeling was mutual. He blamed me for all his problems. I was the cause of his bills. I took too much of his wife’s, my mothers, love away. I was never into sports so I guess he was never into me. There was never father and son time or any bonding in my formative years. I guess when it comes down to it; neither of us could very much stand the other. Maybe he was jealous that I could leave the madhouse. I could see the world. That I could go out and live my life and he couldn’t because he didn’t really have one. Which would honestly explain a lot.
He was content in his misery though, or rather he never did anything to change his station in life. My father was the sort however that would be so miserable he had to drag the rest of us down with him. My mother and I, that is. We had to be as sad and miserable and depressed as he. I guess it made him happy. The only happiness he had, I suppose. He was the master of the madhouse, its creator and in the end it’s what destroyed him. My mother was a peacekeeper but she was mad. She chose to stay and live in the madhouse with him and I. To me no sane individual would be willing to live and subject themselves to that madhouse everyday for over thirty years as she had. Therefore she clearly was mad herself. Driven that way by a drunken unappreciative husband. She was brought down by it all, wearing her down and making her mad.
My folks were old, having had had me late in years. Growing up they were always vastly older than the parents of my friends in school. They rarely went out, leaving the madhouse. It explains a lot of my nature. I am a relaxed sort. I was never a rambunctious child. I never ran around a lot or went outside to play. Those things seemed foreign to me. I’d rather much spend my time in my room reading or writing, getting swept away from the madhouse. Dreaming of being elsewhere, anywhere in fact, than there. I was bound and determined to leave the madhouse one day and so I did just that. When I turned eighteen I went to college out of state. I spent two years living in Pennsylvania going to a liberal arts college, studying theater. Then I left the Podunk farming community for something bigger, more grandiose. I went to Florida and went to school down there and received my Bachelors of Science in Film after two years of study.
I had a lot of great times in college, those were my best years but unfortunately like all good things it would seem, they must come to an end. After graduating and having absolutely no job prospects I had nowhere else to go but home, back to the madhouse and I must be mad too if I willingly went back there. But I had nothing else to do and nowhere to go, what else was I to do, but return to the madhouse. I was defeated by life. Directionless, jobless and hopeless, is what I was. I escaped the madhouse only to go right back to it. I feared it was where I would have to stay forever. I had nothing at home, no bills, but college bills. No rent, but no privacy. I had a girl but she’s a state away and when you’re in love you know that’s another lifetime away.
I was trapped in the madhouse, doomed to stay. I was right back where I started and my skies were turning grey. There is no light at the end of my tunnel, no end in sight. I wish I could end my madness, end my plight. Life is an internal struggle, a personal fight. Man against man I will fight myself and find a way out of the madhouse again. My parents are with me, trapped in the madhouse but content with staying in. They are content with their madness, their life, their madhouse, but not me. I’ll fight my way out the madhouse again, you’ll see. My girlfriend calls me and asks me how I am. I told her I live in a madhouse, you see, but nobody here knows it but me. I laugh through the tears and tell her, it’s going to be all okay because we’ll be reunited, together again someday.
The walls are closing in and the light is going dim. Today ends and tomorrow will be a new. A new hope for a new day. One day I’ll escape the madhouse and be a new man, my own man. But for now I’ll go to sleep and dream of being swept away, far away from the madhouse. It got me once, then it got me again, but there won’t be a next time. No sir, never again.