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"We Don’t Need Another Birddog" by Jeff Harvey

If I ever have a wife, there’s no way I’ll buy another hunting jacket over fixing the leaky toilet and the broken backdoor lock and if I have a family, I won’t drag them from one dirty rental in Jacksonville to another when the rent is late because I spent my paycheck at the dog track and on handles of Jim Beam and if I have kids, I’ll go to their band concerts, Cub Scout derbies, and high school graduations, not just football games and the annual Rod ‘n Reel competition and I’ll make sure my kids have more than one dirty pair of jeans to wear to school instead of buying another fishing rod and I’ll never criticize my kids for getting a “C” in Biology when they tried their best and if I have a kid who says he wants to be an accountant, I won’t tell him to talk to Archie the CPA nextdoor while never looking up from the Jacksonville Independent and if I have a son who says he is moving to California for a different life, I won’t tell him that’s a stupid idea and to be happy with a job at the local aluminum foil factory and if I am suffering from PTSD, I’ll remain at the hospital and attend every group therapy session and try every treatment because my family loves me despite my flaws and today here I am sitting in this room drinking shitty coffee in rehab for the fifth time because I have no self-control and when I make a promise I find a way to sabotage myself and I wonder where I learned this, but I will kick this beast because I know it’s what I gotta do.

Jeff Harvey lives in San Diego and grows avocados and lemons.


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