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And Then Came August [A short Story of a Father and a Son]
And Then Came August
[A short Story of Growing up]
In 1981, when Christopher Wright was thirty-four, he was two years away from becoming sober, the Holy Spirit would descend upon him, and he’d never drink again. Yet, at the start of this story he has as yet gone through this sobriety process, he is in a semiconscious state. As you first witness him, he is thinking, ponders about, drifts off, frequently he thinks he can indeed go without drinking, slightly madding, and shameful for not trying, but his world is a fog, and he is aware of it, and he is getting tired of it. He is happy to most people he meets on the surface, but inside him he is inertly mad, feels dirty: this feeling varies of course, he thinks himself rather exceptional of a person at times as well; yet unsophisticated (which he is not), hard to adjust to his environment, and he feels he has more goals yet to fill, but death is better than living an unhealthy life: a life going back and forth to the bar each night; in an unhealthy state all the time, hard for him to be cheerful, pleasant most of the time; and he is attractive to women, always has been, in particular one at the moment. He thinks he can somehow accomplished something big, yet his options seem to be diminishing as time passes on, and his drinking increases. He sees heaven as a way home (if indeed there is a heaven, and do drunks go to heaven, he is unsure, perhaps that might be the unpardonable sin, yet he feel it is not); yes, heaven would give him immortality and a safe distance form the bottle; and death is always around the corner, in a corner of his mind. But being opinionated, and still functioning pretty well, he might have a chance if he can change, if only he could get the courage to confront his alcoholism, where most of his demons come from.
Now Christopher Wright, more familiarly known as “Chick,” left his home at an early age, St. Paul, Minnesota and had spent eleven years in the Army. He now came home from war a Staff Sergeant (the Vietnam War). And in the years to come, five years to be exact, he gathered to himself some one million and three hundred thousand dollars, from real-estate transitions. He had created some ill will from his family members, neighbors, and was known for a while as “The Landlord King.”
This occupied his energies for a while, and during this time, he had become sober, yet he had a heart attack, a stroke, and acquired a neurological disease, then determined to set apart the remainder of his life to the honorable rejuvenation of the world’s poetry; trying to be like all the great poets before him. He refined himself, no liquor, mostly literature; body building, Sunday walks in the part, medicines, patience, rest. From a sofa chair he read hundreds of books , theories, concepts, he rid himself of his hypothetical enemy, ignorance, he become a scholar, with degrees and all such fine things. A campaign, that took him around the world several times, through the following fifteen years, during which he displayed himself infinitesimally, equal to any scholar alive. The year in which this story opens finds him tiresome, he has grown halfhearted; his thoughts run a great deal on his past war experiences, his illness, his wife and children who have left him.
Early in his life Mr. Wright had married a woman several years younger than he, who brought him into the circles he now so admires (he had married in 1972, after returning home from the Vietnam war, and had a child), and enjoys, an impeccable entrée of scholars.
His ex wife, had borne him a son and, after the magnificence of this performance, she had left him, because of his looming illnesses. The boy, Cody G. Wright, became an a great soldier in his own right, in the United States Army, a Captain, and a connoisseur of good form in all military duties, a good example for others.
Cody had written his memoirs under the title: “And then came August,” about the war he had been in, the war in Bosnia . On the gossip of its formation this work was quickly bid for among publishers, it did obtain a private printing, but only one, it was not powerful enough that the public demanded a second printing.
Young Cody had one picture of his father, he was on a teeter-totter, and his father was behind him, they were in a park together. It was such a common picture he kept in his house, now in Columbus, Ohio, that it was as if, a part of the furniture. It showed the background of a park in the 1970s, He had long light brown locks, dressed in a Jean jacket, in the city of Dieburg, West Germany, where he was stationed for a short period of time. This was Cody at four years old.
His memories of Dieburg, thin as they were, were unformulated and pleasing. He was so very young, but he remembered guests coming to the apartment, meeting his father at a guest house with him tagging along, his friends holding him up high in the air in the bars, his father showing him off, breathlessly his father on the edge incase someone dropped him; occasionally making whispers to his wife, and friends to be more careful with him, and he’d sing his songs on the guitar, and the strange dialect of the Germans. He remembered some of these things, and his father told him of these things, and he thought then, they were part of his memory.
It was years later, after Cody had grown up, when he was about ready to go into the Army himself, he moved in with his father, just his father. He was continually going out at night, on his drinking trips. It wasn’t like the trip he once took with his father, a fishing trip up to Gull Lake, and there in the cabin by the lake he and his father swatted mosquitoes half the night, laughed the other half, and broke into the next door vacant cabin so they could get a good night sleep; went fishing in the morning. Nor was it like the picnics he took him on. His father was in despair of this unclear miserable life his son had taken: a path he once had taken.
So to Cody, life was a struggle against youth, and he waited for a decision, and he made one and the Army made one: within six months, impressionable months, he left his father’s house, and faded off into the imperceptible Army life. It was August, l991, he was nineteen-years old. It was for him a concession to his boring life, accommodating his hyperactivity, his lack of money, and refinancing perhaps his nightlife, body building. He told his father in a letter, “It has nothing to do with us, as far as me going into the Army, it is time for me to consider a more adventurous life, so please do not take this in any other way.” Hence, he didn’t want to hurt his father, but he was nearly exhaustive with his bland life. His father understood, it had bestowed patient frowns, interrupted his play, devoured his months, when he went in the Army, and untiringly, it gave him a variety of splendor; thus, it would do the same for Cody, he was sure.
As a youth before his teens, he had lived almost totally within himself, an inarticulate boy it seemed, always thinking, seldom cross with anyone, an all-American boy you could say. Polite, spirit filled, and one who loved animals, nature. Shy and sensitive as a youth,
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