Private First Class, Jack Shephard

I saw my father in a dream late one night; his mouth set smiling, took by peace and inside it burned my heart. His fingertips strummed the thin strings of his old guitar as his throat sang a slow soundtrack just for me. Death, mercy, love and desire, confession quietly sung in his strongest voice. He was a struggling musician, a troubled kid… who was gay but fought to be straight and won his battle somewhere inside my mother. An alcoholic reciting psalms to himself, righting the wrongs that his father before him made, promising he would never learn the directions to his route, but as the drinks routinely dripped in, he drowned in them. Every midnight like clockwork, he would stumble in half past drunk, blindfolded to hide his bloodshot eyes, his lips whistling a beautiful tune, a smile resting lazily over his face. “Sing…sing… the world to my feet…redeem…this empty life…” he hummed with his lips curved upright. Under the dull gray moon, he would sink into his mattress and detox in his sleep. He had a monster he kept hidden under his bed that fed on whiskey and rum. This demon would wake at the uncertain hours of dawn as the world spun on, to eat at his heart, that fell someplace between his cracks, somewhere he couldn’t remember, buried deep underneath his fractured folds, flesh, and bones. His low whiskey filled cries for salvation dropped like blessings in the monsters open ears, touched like soft embraces on its toughened skin and laughing it savagely tore away at him. Life is nothing like a song.