Let’s Chase Cars


“You should have been home more often!”

“I had to work!”

“You were always gone!

“I had to make a living!”

“You had your wife to take care of!”

“I was taking care of her!  I had to make money!  We could barely pay the bills!”

“She needed you to watch her!  She was getting her meds mixed!  They were getting lost!  They were getting stolen!

“She traded them for alcohol!”

“Because you weren’t there!!!

“I HAD TO WORK!  I HAD TO WORK!  I couldn’t just stay home!  I took her to the doctors! I rushed her to the ER all those times!  I made sure she had food to eat!  I tucked her in at night!  I’m the one that did this!  I did the best I could!  I couldn't do any more!!!

"... it wasn't enough."


It's like this often, it seems.  Always trying to justify myself to Left Side and Right Side, in the most defensive way.  Attempting to explain why I couldn't stop her from dying; if maybe I had been a better man, or made more money, or was good enough to make her happy – then maybe she would have found joy and a reason to stay alive.  Left Side and Right Side always make sure I remember that I failed as a husband, and a friend – a worthless bastard at best.

I swear to God, one day I’m just going to silence Left Side and Right Side.  Permanently.

I’m not sure why my late wife has been on my mind so heavily this evening – except that I am just lonely.  I can usually combat the terrible alone-ness with “stuff to do,” but this evening?  This evening “stuff” is just getting in my way.  I just want to close my eyes and lay down to return…

By now my wife was so sick, she could hardly walk.  Her jaundice was only getting worse, but her psoriasis was greatly improving.  Sadly, the doctors told us it was because her body was so weak that it could no longer support the psoriatic disease, hence the clearing of her skin.

Her breathing was already getting more and more shallow.  She was so tired.  She rarely even looked at me anymore, even for help; and her crying had gone to nil.  She’d finally accepted her fate.

Our bedroom always smelled of stale life, stagnantly awaiting the Pond of Life to dry up.  It’s all I did, day after day, come home, sort her meds, make sure she had water, lactulose, and something to “eat,” if that’s what one can call a nibble ever few days.  Her beautiful, soft skin had been beaten sensitive from the psoriasis that was finally packing up and leaving, and her hair, her wonderful, silky hair, remained dry and thirsty.

She laid on her side, facing outwards, towards the nightstand with her meds, just waiting for the clock to give her another dose of medication; or to sneak one when I wasn’t looking.  Meanwhile, I sat next to her, slowly drinking straight shots of vodka, and chasing it with a Diet Dr. Pepper.

Painfully, she half-rolled over, twisting her upper body and looking at me, eyes droopy, face swollen and puffy, and a longing to have her life rejuvenated.  She was full of regrets – I know this because in later weeks, she’d told me of them.  As she sorrowfully gazed into my eyes, I could feel her, and my heart ached for a peace I could not give her.  My dear, sweet friend was in there.  She was in there, trapped, trapped behind an addiction of alcoholism on such magnitude, she never thought it possible to escape; thereby inevitably fulfilling her self-written prophecy.

She gazed at me, a smile half crossing her face.  “I love you, you know.” she faintly said with a shallow breath.

“Yes.  Yes I know." I quickly replied, "I love you, too.”  As much as I had grown to hate her, I was again loving her for what she could have potentially been; and I longed for the woman who'd married me with promises yet to be kept.

I laid down beside her, my head next to hers, and I held her hand.  The realization that this may be one of the last moments that we have together crossed my mind.  I wasn’t drunk yet, I’d just started, and she, for whatever reason, was still alert – an unusual occurrence to say the least.  I pulled out the only camera I owned – the crappy one on my cheap phone, and I snapped a picture of us together, saying, “Now smile, honey…” CLICK!

It was the most perfect picture of her and I, as sickly as she was.


I think of this one particular song sometimes.  It came out just around the same time as this moment, and every-single-time I hear it, I think of this very moment in time; a photograph etched forever into my mind – the moment where I laid down next to her, told her I loved her just as she did me, held her hand, and then snapped the last picture of her I will ever have – just weeks prior to her death.  It is this very picture that I see when the song comes on, just as this song is the very one I hear every time I see that picture – carrying along with them the memories of smells, sights, and sounds.  And familiar feelings arise; the fears, the lost hope and hopelessness, the emptiness that was already settling in, and the desperation “please, dear God – let her make it this timePlease.

Sometimes, when I think back and I realize how much I hated our marriage, I also realize that it wasn’t her that I hated; it was the goddamn alcohol and prescription drugs.  The havoc it wreaked upon our marriage, the kids, the bills, even the dog and fish.  Fucking fish.

As much as I don't miss the turmoil, the problems, the inability to cope (hence the drinking); I sometimes really, really miss my wife.  When she was sober, she was my best friend.  I at least miss the friendship we had during those times, as few and far in-between as they were.

I can’t figure out if this will ever go away.  Sometimes, I think I am “over” it all.  Other times, such as this evening, I can’t get away from the hell – weather it is grievous, joyous, angry, or feeling lost.

Writing helps me make sense of things most of the time.  I’m learning that talking does a lot, too.  But sometimes, when drawing or creating won’t help, I find that just listening can.  I’ve included the lyrics to the song that triggers this exact moment for me, as well as a YouTube link to the video, in case you’re interested in hearing it.  It may not make much sense in the context of the video – but placed in the context of our last good moment together – it nails it for me.

Chasing Cars -
Snow Patrol
(C) 2006 Polydor Ltd. (UK)



We'll do it all
On our own

We don't need
Or anyone

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and
     just forget the world?

I don't quite know
How to say
How I feel

Those three words
Are said too much
They're not enough

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and
     just forget the world?

Forget what we're told
Before we get too old
Show me a garden that's
     bursting into life

Let's waste time
Chasing cars
Around our heads

I need your grace
To remind me
To find my own

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and
     just forget the world?

Forget what we're told
Before we get too old
Show me a garden that's
     bursting into life

All that I am
All that I ever was
Is here in your perfect eyes,
     they're all I can see

I don't know where
Confused about how as well
Just know that these things will
     never change for us at all

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and
     just forget the world?

Sometimes, when I hear it... I just want to close my eyes... lay down next to her... and go to sleep.




Drunkless Life