September 2016

What I do owe

Abandoned by a skid row father, a son struggles to make amends to him

My father was an alcoholic, but for years in my mind, I still wasn’t as bad as he was. He lived on the Bowery, sleeping in unlocked cars, on fleabag pallets in mission houses and, when all else failed, wrapped in a cardboard box in an alley somewhere. He never supported my mother and her four children. On the rare occasions when we saw him, he stole precious coins from Mom’s purse and beat us all up if we complained.

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