Female. 30+. 175 words. Deanna: “There all Fred’s” From Remote.

By Paul Pasulka

No. One thing I've learned so far in AA – Nobody in my house was havin' any fun. They were barely treadin' water, drowning slowly. My grandfather was a drunk. Quiet – a sippin' drunk, I've heard it called. My father was in Viet Nam. My uncle said he was a sweet kid when he left. Eighteen and just out of school. He came back changed. My father never talked about it, but some nights you'd hear him screaming. My brother told me he was saying, (loud, terrified male voice) “They’re Fred. They’re all Fred.” He said Fred was some guy my father was in the army with, and he left some stuff behind.  You didn't argue with my brother. I don't remember when I finally figured out what he was really saying.

There's a part of me that feels sorry for him - for that eighteen year old kid, anyway. But my father, it was like, he wasn't real. Like, he was a nightmare, or something. And we were all living inside it with him