SHORT SHORT FICTION by Jane Genova
His father, himself a recovered alcoholic, had cut off contact six years ago. He realized his son's unusual behavior was not simply an early phase of sobering up.
Since then, through the legal grapevine, he found out that "it" kept getting worse. Not only was the once-golden-boy living in and practicing law out of a double wide in Warwick, Rhode Island. He was billing his legal services according to an elaborate formula of what clients could afford and what he professionally assessed as fair. Recently, there was more. Like Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Bill Wilson, he was taking in drunks into his own "home," that is, the double wide. Two got into a knife fight.
At AA meetings, the son would start his story with "I never had it better." By 2008, many other lawyers, who were unemployed and overwhelmed with debt, came to agree with him. By 2009, there were 20,000 out there who never had it worse. First there was grudging admiration, then awe that he landed on his feet with a successful law practice, with such little overhead.
His father couldn't handle this either. Maybe that's what killed him in April.