Matt had devised a point system for assessing how intoxicated his father was. From one to three was morose and uncommunicative - no one would know he’d been drinking other than immediate family members. Three to five was pious and effusive – this was The Reverend’s public face, a man of God whose calling was service to humanity even at his own and his family’s expense. Five to seven was self-righteous and condescending – nasty, mean spirited, cruel and reserved for those he had power over. It was at this level that Matt would be summoned for communion between father and son.
The Reverend would begin with praise but gradually erode it until it became apparent Matt had fell short of the expectation. Then council would be proffered, worldly and divine, about how he could do better next time.
Beyond seven was falling down drunk, passing out, no memory of most of the previous evenings events. This level The Reverend carried out only in the company of the bottle and his personal demons or angels, depending on your point of view.
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