“Diagram Of A Life” by Lydia Williams

Image by Zsuzsanna Kilian

There’s something about a man led around by his dick. The arrested, slop-licking gaze, the ever-attentiveness, dick forward–my father is such a man. Maybe that’s why I can spot them, men and women leashed to some kind of compulsion, drinking, say, or eating, or even health. Give me five minutes and I’ll give you your neurosis. I want to give you the partial diagram of a life which is not my life. But I know this life. Give me five minutes. What is my compulsion? What is my neurosis? Give me five minutes.

Diagram Of A Life

_ Parents drunk and fighting  Reads Romance novels  Cancer 
Child A  Prays to Disney for escape  Wants Prince Charming  What’s death? 
Teen A  Still watches Disney movies  Dreams of handsome vampire rescuer, edgier Prince Charming  N/A (or involves relative) 
Young Adult A  Drinks too much in college but is after all nothing like parents since everyone drinks in college  Rushes into marriage for Happily Ever After, divorces  Is diagnosed, clings to new, ill-advised relationship, Happily Ever After (Chemo) involves newfound ill-advised urgency 
Adult A  Alcoholic  Of course, and goes on trips to Disney World  Returns due to drinking 

Put another way, “Me and Mom and Pop, What Feels Like Home, What I Learned From Disney, What Feels Real, Drinking and Fighting, Cancer Sucks, Seize the Day, Seize the Bottle, Seize the Heart, Wake Up, You, Wake Up.”

Wake up, you, wake up.


Lydia Williams has published fiction in The Pedestal, The Apple Valley Review, Night Train, New South, The Dead Mule, The Armchair Aesthete, and Fresh Boiled Peanuts, among others. She is a Contributing Editor for The Chattahoochee Review and has a Ph.D. in English from Georgia State University.

Back To Neon #19

Leave a Reply