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My father would store up all his unfinished anger from the week and let it out on Sundays. There was just the four of us — — my dad, my mom, my brother and me. A giant magnolia tree shaded most of the house, so the inside was very dark. My brother and I would go around turning on the lights, but we were continuously aware of our father’s warning that whoever left a light on without good reason would be punished. My father must have enjoyed the dark because he spent all his time in his room with the curtains drawn reading books and magazines and listening to his news programs. Even the golf he played every other day didn’t do anything to diminish his pasty, white skin because he’d always wear a hat and sunblock. My father’s side of the bed was messy. There were newspapers, magazines, various autobiographies, dark chocolate and pistachio nuts either on the bed or on the floor. Living with him was difficult, but Sundays were the worst. He would storm around the house every Sunday morning looking for something to yell about. In he’d come before we’d have a chance to tidy up. He’d sweep his arm across our dressers and open up all the drawers and the closet doors, discarding everything in his path. The day was ruined before it began, and anything nice that had been planned for the afternoon was long forgotten. Looking back now on those childhood Sundays and my father’s rage, I think most of it came from his inability to control the demons in his head. If his insides were cluttered with messy thoughts, then forcing us to clean up on the outside must have made him feel a bit better on the inside. But of course, we felt worse after the storm, and on Sundays there was always a cloud.

You can find more stories by Danna Colman here.

Writer and copyeditor. “What doesn’t kill us gives us something new to write about” ~ J. Wright

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