Her natural strength and dignity stripped in all its integrity, I witnessed, at a tender age. It’s no wonder I refuse to call any male dominant figure, including my own, “dad” symbolic of my constant impending resilience toward male authoritative dictatorship. Towers used to loom over my infantile head, I a toddler, and they, two lost beings; tired. Yelling figures, exhausted absurdities, endless, restless quarreling, adolescent wailing, and drunken insults on one end until the dead of night. It was always dark when I recall. She fought, most nights; she went into combat with a drunken disheveled devil who threatened to bludgeon her into his personal bloodied hell. She was weakened because she was in love without the resources, without the finances, without a title, without the education. So she remained. Every night she went to war. Every night she lost. She was not at fault, only a victim fallen to manipulative promises and the false end. They had come to an agreement that he could not and would not live up to. He had annulled, waived, and broken not only their marital promise but the nonobligatory commitment he made to remain. So he remained habitually confined to hazy stupors searching for validation at the end of a glass bottle. Each battle shortened their ropes until their only resolution was to tiptoe for air. He held on to his drunken despair, however she, she would glance intently at her only hope. Her only reason for continuing, escaping, and inevitably ridding herself of the toxic wasteland of a man stood below her with glassy eyed confusion. Her isolated weakness was her contradictory strength. So she lay asleep sharing a room with a drunken man, who was simply never there, huddled at the edge of a bed, at the edge of her life with her love, humming and stroking her hair.