“Stages”. Alcoholic: The Dark Side.

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Your Town
Through Harold’s Lens:

Shock

Pete!
Dead?
Mom, I just saw him!
What happened?

Story

Pitch night
Old man
Alcoholic
Drunk
High speed
Head-on.

3000 pounds
Into
3000 pounds.

Metal rips metal
Metal smashes glass
Smashing glass tears tender skin
Sharp edges saw bare bone
Chards puncture eyes
Blood
Rivers of blood.

Denial

No Mom
This can’t be
This can’t be happening to our family
Pete! Pete!
My dear brother Pete!

Anger

@$#&%*
@$#&%*
@$#&%* liquor
@$#&%* alcoholic
@$#&%* alcoholic driving a car.

Tears

Streams roll over soft cheeks
Tongue tastes salt
Lips tastes mucous
Shoulders shake
Body quivers.

Eyes stare into space
Howl
Long, low, hollow
Nooooooooooooo!!!!

Depression

@$#&%* life
I can’t do this any more
Pete was my strength
My best friend
My God.

Acceptance

Mom
Dad
I have you
We have each other
We have love.

Ring. Ring. Ring.
“Hello.
Alcoholics Anonymous.
May I help you?”

“My name is John.
I’m an alcoholic.”

“Call of Terror”

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ARGENTINA Through Harold’s Lens:

USA.
Auburn, New York
4:12 am.
January 9, 1955.

The brass ringer bell on our rotary phone screams and screams and screams outside my bedroom door.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

I’m in deep sleep.

Ring. Ring Ring.

I am only 14.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

Old enough to know only bad comes with a call in the black of night.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

I’m into horror movies.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

I am terrified.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

Slapping bare feet rip down the wooden hallway.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

Total silence.

A mind-piercing scream rips through my bedroom door. I leap from my sheets. I tear open my door. I’m face to face with my Mother. Wracking in tears. Sucking for air. Eyes wide with terror.

“Maudie”, Mom gasps. The hospital. Her five-month old daughter. Dead. I wrap my arms around Mom’s heaving, sagging shoulders. Mom and I cry.

Please Lord. There is an order to birth. An order to death. Our children are not to die first.

A jet black old rotary in an antique store in Buenos Aires evokes a 50 year old painful memory of an ice cold January morning in upstate New York and the value of life.