When I Need A Pick Me Up, by my friend Ryan King

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Was It Inevitable

(Originally 11/2/06)

That My Benefactor would relapse? Yesterday I came home, he wasn't here. He had his car and took it somewhere. He didn't return all evening and stayed gone all night. Then this morning when I searched for the cat food he bought, I found an empty Hennessey bottle (or however its spelled). It could be old but I'm going to go with my first impression.

This morning I answered his house phone, which I try never to do because his loony ex-wife might be calling, but I did and it was his loony ex-wife, Then I made a serious mistake. I gave her my cellphone number. She asked for it and what was I supposed to say? I know that I am the only live conduit she has to this man. When I'm ignoring the phone upstairs, I still know that. But I slough it off and say to myself, 'She can leave a message'. And sometimes I know that his answering machine is full (yes, he has a machine--not a calling plan with voicemail).

And don't think that after the first time she calls my cell that I won't identify her number and commence to ignoring her calls from then on. Because I DO have voicemail. She can leave a message. I'll call her back after 9:00PM. Because she won't be paying my cellphone bills. And she won't be paying for the therapy she seeks from me. And I never wanted to get sucked up into this constellation in the first place.

It's time to start an exit strategy. My conscience be damned. This is how my life was for the first 30+ years until my father was found emaciated on the city streets, too drunk to ever recover. Why do I need to repeat this thing? For money? For closure? I think not. I think that part of me that needs to care for addicts ... no, that's not even true what I was about to type. I was going to say it was cauterized and long dead, but that's not true. At that meeting the other night, I was as alive and empathetic as I've ever been. And if My Bevefactor stumbled through the door right now, I'd try to help. And when his crazy-ass ex-wife calls me, and it's after 9:00PM, I will try to help. And I guess that the way it is.

But I still don't have to live in this house to do all this. I still think I need to leave, for my own emotional health. Plus, my being here is enabling him to go relapse. As long as he knows the cats are taken care of, he feels free to go into his 30+ year habit of chucking responsibility, taking nothing seriously, excusing his behavior because of 'learning disabilities' and burning out his mind. I don't even like the guy, so why do I need this?

I wish I could do it today, but I can't. I'll need to really start saving money now. I'll have to set a target date and use my pathetic math skills to plot what I can afford and what I can't.

Just when things were going so well. I should have known.

But I am still a writer, and I'm My Hero's friend, and other people's friend too. And all that part is still alright then.

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