When my father was young he mowed lawns for money. He pushed a second-hand spinning blade in the hot Florida sun for spare change.
With dull coins clanging in his pocket and crumpled bills in his palm, my father fought to escape home.
To him, home was synonymous with scary southern suburbia, where late-night television was replaced with screaming matches and loud fists. Angry eyes with children's cries. Barbecues bombarded with apologetic looks from neighbors. Pretending not to hear shatters and shouts of supposed 'baseball black eyes'.
And so he pushed. Pushed the rusty lawn mower down strangers' yards, pushed away the sniggering snot-nosed kids calling him '****', and pushed at his father's demons, crawling down his spine, whispering that he was no good.
Years later he kept pushing
Pushing towards whatever came next. Yet no matter how much he pushed, he was still the same boy with the lawn mower. Angry, mad, pushing violently ahead.
The smoke of sanity is inhaled now, as my father's blood-shot eyes try to suppress the angry boy within. The residue of stolen innocence is not left unnoticed. A touch of tone on his once sunburnt neck and the man he has made instantly flushes away, leaving his father's demons. Calmer than before, a dying star, burning bright before collapse.
Like a strong jaw, his father's anger is passed down to him, and I, his son, am now born with this seed of destruction. Smaller than before, but still seething.
Constantly reminded, I sit in a leather chair surrounded by white walls in carefully controlled climate, plastic pen perched on my palm, I push.
I'll keep pushing.
I wrote this a while ago.