Eventually, though, the flow tapers off. Tap. Tap. Tap. And then it is contained, telling me it's safe to wipe away the streams of anguish from my face. I try not to think about when will be the next time I see my sons again. Thanksgiving? It's barely a long weekend. Christmas? No, tt's their mother's turn this year. Spring Break then? That's six months away and too far to know for sure. My eyes water up, but I close them, damming any further spilling of emotion.
I step into the house. It is silent--so much so, that the cold whispering of air being exhaled by the A/C vents sounds strange to me. There is no one here. My wife instinctively knows I need to be alone, isolated like the astronauts after their return from the moon. Because of this, she takes her girls shopping.
The thought of my stepdaughters induces, as it always does immediately after the boys leave, a short-term bitterness over the injustice of my wife getting to be with her children while I remain separated from mine. It's bullshit--absolute bullshit that things have to be this way!
I am disgusted with myself over the slew of failures and poor decisions I've left in my wake. In the time it takes me to swallow a mouthful of bitter tasting liquid from the bottle in my hand, I go from determined to defeated, passing through desperation somewhere in between. Why does have to be like this? The longer this goes on, the more my boys need me. Don't you see this God? I mean, what the hell! It's never going to happen, is it? ...We'll always be apart, won't we?
I drop helpless onto the couch. Summer's over. Tomorrow I'll get groceries. Monday I'll start on a project with a new client. A few days later, I'll discover that the minivan's AC will die. There will be bills. Soon school will start, and not only will I just be packing the girls' lunches, this year I'll now be coordinate dropping them off and picking them up each day since the district canceled their bus route. There will be more bills, more trips to the grocery store, more circumstances beyond my control. Fall is here.