Tom is drunk

by Bailey Blumenstock
I’ve stopped calling him Daddy and started calling him only by his first name. Tom, did you eat dinner? Do you work tomorrow? What’s in your glass? No, I’ll pour my own, thanks. 
The cats bat a bottle cap around our feet. I pull cold chicken and a can of cat food out of the refrigerator, shifting bowls of watermelon salad and cherries and tabbouleh. Mewing, they abandon the cap and rub my legs. Mom comes home with a tuna steak and mussels and boils water for pasta and Tom turns on jeopardy. It must be 100 degrees, she says. Tom turns on the weather report to show her that it’s going to be hot all week but it’s gonna rain tonight. He said this yesterday too. 
Wine bottles clink with emptiness. The wind picks up, blows our garbage cans down the street again. I’ll get them in the morning. He is yelling when he says this, and Mom makes a joke, like, the trashcans can’t hear you, Tom, and he gets quiet again and looks down at the newspaper. He doesn’t like tuna or mussels or pasta or tabbouleh, so Mom makes him a turkey sandwich with mayonnaise and turkey and bacon and tomatoes from the garden, and when he eats it, he is quiet.
Raining now. Thick silver sheets, musty, musky summer rain. I’m so drunk that my lips are numb. I’m not sure if I am talking or not. Everything is fuzzy and warm and heavy. I am not hungry for dinner but eat anyway, and I start to imagine what my father would look like if he were dead. Sitting there across the table from me, mopping up mayonnaise with his fingers. He is alive now but maybe he could be dead. My mouth, full of mostly raw fish, can no longer chew. I get up from the table and finish the bottle of wine, swallowing it, fish bits and all.  Mom asks if I am okay. 
We clear the table. The rain has stopped. He sleeps on the couch, sitting up. Sometimes, I hate him.