Daddy Please Stop Drinking - Chapter 4
Fun with Dad
We are living in a tall building in Kuala Lumpur. It is evening and it is warm and humid. My father is holding me in his arms and he points at some people lying on deck chairs on one of the balconies below us.
He carries me to the fridge and takes out two eggs. Excitedly he brings me back to the balcony and drops one of the eggs down on to the people below. I am so excited and I am laughing so much because he is laughing hysterically. He does it again and the people below are going mad shouting but not knowing where the eggs are coming from.
I am laughing so much my tummy hurts. I love what my father is doing and I am excited at the prospect of being caught by the people below. My father gives me an egg to throw and I am so excited I nearly pee.
I love my father and it is so much fun with him. He always does these fun things when his breath has that special smell. He is drinking a yellow liquid and we are laughing so much. My mother tells us to stop. The laughing stops and Dad goes out.
I am in Malaysia. I am in a car in the middle of traffic in the city. It is day time and it is very hot. My mother and father are fighting. They are screaming at each other. My father is pulling my mother by the hair out of the car. I am about three years old, I am very scared and confused. My sisters are crying and car horns are blaring.
My father is returning home. I can hear him. The car is making a lot of noise because the fender is trailing along the road. He is drunk and I am playing in a toy jeep with military police markings I got for my birthday a few days earlier. My mother rushes to me and gets me out of the jeep just in time. My father drives into the garage and smashes into the jeep. If I had been in the jeep I’d have been crushed against the garage wall like the Jeep. There is never a dull moment in our house!
I want my real Daddy back, not the one who drinks.
I am sitting on the porch with my father and he asks me to get him a beer. I am about three years old. I look up at him and I beg him to stop drinking. "Daddy, please stop drinking. When you drink you are different and I get scared when you get angry with Mammy." He simply laughs and tells me to get him a drink. I want to explain to him that he is a wonderful father when he doesn’t drink but I just don't know how. He can't hear me and "I" realises that drinking is very important to my father. Drinking is more important than me. I see that it is no use trying to expalin because he is not taking me seriously. I go and get him his beer.
I will find a way to break free of alcohol
My daughter is looking at me as I sit drinking my glass of red wine. I am 45 years old and I am enjoying the mellow feeling. I ask my daughter to fill my glass. "Daddy, please stop drinking, you are different when you drink." I laugh and hold out my glass. She has a strange look upon her face. She fills the glass and says nothing.
Next morning I wake up and meet my children in the sitting room. I call a family meeting. "I am an alcoholic I tell them. Your mother and I are alcoholics. We drink a bottle of wine each every night and we have been doing this for a long time. It is now a habit we find very difficult to break. I wake up every morning and tell myself that I will never drink again but come 7 or 8pm every night somebody else inhabits my body and that person want to drink a bottle of wine. I am a very strong and intelligent man but look at how pathetic I am in the face of this addiction. I am an addict no different from any other addict. I want to regain my freedom but I simply don't know how. Let this be a lesson to you all never to drink because you can see how this liquid called alcohol has levelled your parents. I feel ashamed but I also feel I owe you an explanation. I will find a way to free myself but in the meantime behold your pathetic father who bows to his bottle every night.