Seeing I was the man of the house, I wondered what that entailed and became the surrogate husband for my bereaving Mother. Dad was busy working and drinking, so she and I learned to predict horse races and watch John Wayne movies and musicals on Sundays. Visiting Nana and Grandfather, who had separated before I remember, was always a difficult treat to maneuver. And I could always gain Dad’s approval by mowing the lawn and going to Mass while he was at the pub.
“Oh, how proud he’ll be!”
The school marks were never quite adequate even though I was awarded Maths and English trophies at my new Boy’s Marist College. The school gave me an example of holy men who were far from pious and the sports clubs showed me how drunkenness and misogyny and manliness are entwined.
When I failed to live up to my earlier potential, women and booze beckoned and I renounced the Church and joined the Crowd in debauchery and procreation. In desperation, I found purpose and direction at University for a while and then plunged dutifully into parenthood, Commerce and heavy drinking.
The jobs came and went, but my wife just went (with the Golden Child) and jobs careered from one to the next until I met a top Real Estate Agent one day in my taxi and she asked me to join their team.
It fanned my commercial desires and my drinking until it ended in bankruptcy.
Drinking seamed the only balm in the cruelty of ‘Life’. The spiritual life was replaced by the ‘Spirit of the Life’.
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