Personal Narrative: My Best Wilson Man

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“I don’t want to be like my father.” It’s a sentence that leaks out of the mouth a living contradiction, a weeping mountain, a broken hero.

His face reeks of guilt, his breath of alcohol. It’s been days since I’d seen him last, his disappearances were becoming routinely tragic and hopelessly imminent. Except today was different, because today was Christmas. Numerous calls the night before ended with the mocking sound of his voicemail. In the past he was my idol, days before he was my dad, but today he was unrecognizable.

The Wilson family is full of men’s men. They drink beer, watch sports, smoke cigars, and brashly about talk politics. A gathering of Wilson men is certain to include an array of unsubtle braggery, patronizing glances, and disparaging side comments. Each Wilson man believes he is the best Wilson man, and each Wilson man is destroyed by it.

Each generation of Wilson men grow up bemoaning their childhood, promising that it will be them who ends the vicious genetic love affair that plagued their past. My great grandfather died when my grandfather was 18, leaving my grandfather certain bd what his father never was. Yet here my dad stands, using the counter to steady is balance, reciting the Wilson man’s mantra, “I just don’t want to be like my father,” and
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The tumults of addiction have left me wanting much more for my life than what I see when I look up the family tree. The outside world sees Wilson men as the definition of Southern success. Each generation before me has strived for the greatest rendition this preconceived success. Their vital currency is wealth and appearance, preferring to look the part rather than play the role. In seeing the facade of fulfillment erected by Wilson men through money and status, it has fundamentally changed my definition of success. My experiences have implanted a desire for something more than a smiling Christmas card, because I know the reality of
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