Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Drink from the half of a broken bottle

Well, today I was BS'ing an assignment for English in which I had to grade the moral conduct of each noteworthy character in Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment and explain why. Marmeladov is an alcoholic. When Raskolnikov first meets Marmeladov, it is in a tavern where Marmeladov has been blowing money on beer for five days, afraid to go home to his proud wife with the news that he abandoned the respectful job he'd procured just days before. He expresses to Raskolnikov his desire to help his family, and provide for his wife in a way that suits her pride, as apposed to her current squalor, and to help his daughter Sonya from having to sell herself in the streets for the financial benefit of the family.

I gave Marmeladov a D-, stating that his conduct was not justifiable or incapable or pity. He had such a desire and yearn to better his family's conditions, yet he quit his job days after receiving it and spent the intervening time and money drowning his poverty in alcohol. His situation was one where the sin could be prevented. Yet, intentions aside, he found himself incapable of putting off drink long enough to benefit his loved ones.

Inexcusable conduct. Wretched excuse. D-

As I handed my assignment to Mrs. Drake, she looked at me and said, "How are you doing this when you haven't read the book? Cheating?"

She was addressing someone else at the same time, so I let that person answer, walking away to get the sheet I was supposed to hand in with the assignment.

"Really, though." She said upon my return. "Was it Spark Notes?"

I didn't answer.

Because it was Spark Notes, but, I fumed in yoga the following period, it wasn't because I was a delinquent and didn't want to read the book, and went to Spark Notes instead. I wanted to read the book--I still do. I have a feeling it might be that dark literature I've been searching years for. I just didn't have time, with the play and math homework and YouTube and reading just takes me so long if I wish to comprehend it...

And I realized, there on my yoga mat, that I was Marmeladov. I want to be better. I want to stop making Ashley hate me and treat me like an incapable little kid because I'm late to school everyday. I want to be dedicated to my school work and actually finish most of it at the proper time. I want to clean my room and the bathroom sink. I want to get my Young Women medallion. I want, I wish, I yearn, I desire, yet I keep waisting my time and money on drink. I keep turning back to the alcohol of procrastination, even when I know the day is laid out perfectly for me to get the allotted task completed. I acknowledge I have a chance, I even go out and get a nice uniform for work, but I find myself trading the clothes for something more... fitting, and I enter the tavern like the drunk I am, and drink until there's nothing more to drink.

And I'm afraid to go home to my wife, my God. I'm afraid to return and say "I took all I had, all you'd helped me receive, and I drank it. I spent each spare moment you gave me, and I drank it. I wish I hadn't. I wish I wasn't so wretched. I wanted to be better, but I kept drinking, Lord. I kept drinking."

Inexcusable conduct. Wretched excuse. D-

I hope the Lord gives me more of a chance than Mrs. Drake will. Because even after today, after this eye-opening, disturbing comparison, you'll find me tomorrow, bottle in hand.


  1. i absolutely love this :) i know exactly how you feel. :P

  2. Wow. That is an amazing realization and comparison. I'm so glad I read this post, I feel like that all the time. :) Your writing style is beautiful and so is your insight.