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January 19, 2014

Please, God, let this be the time I walk away for good.

TLTL has struck again, and like a fool, I let it happen. Once, shame on you. Eighty-six times, eternal shame on me.

Okay, maybe eternal shame is a bit dramatic. TLTL and I made plans to hang out today. I waited for him to call. No word from him at all yesterday, and today at 5:30, he called me, drunk on half a fifth of gin, wanting to hang out. I took over a six pack of beer. I ended up drinking less than half of one bottle. I got to his place after screaming at bad drivers for ten minutes.

The first thing he said to me was, “Peter Gabriel.” The second thing was, “Woah, I’m not used to seeing you like this.”

“What? Without my big orange and red glasses?” A screw had fallen out on one of the stems, and I was wearing a very old pair of small brown rectangles instead because they were the first pair I grabbed.

“Well, that and your hair…it’s, uh, not like it usually is.”

“You mean it’s flat?” I asked him.

“Yeah. That’s what it is,” he smiled and made himself a drink, and I noted that he was three quarters of the way through the gin. He put the beer in the fridge and wandered into the living room without offering me anything, including my own beer. I got one for myself. Foreshadowing, in case you missed it the first time: I drank less than half of it.

We sat on the couch watching Peter Gabriel and Tom Waits videos. I like both artists a lot, but TLTL kept saying things that made no sense to me about people I don’t know. At one point, he started crying quietly, and refused to say why.

THEN he decided that he’d go for some heavy petting while a housemate was in the kitchen. Ah, the romance of alcoholism. “Stop it,” I whispered about 15 times, and then he backed offs, and it was clear that he felt rejected. I offered to go upstairs with him so we could play around, and he agreed. He could barely walk. I was hoping he’d get up the steps and fall into bed and just fall asleep. No dice. So we were kissing, and he was getting tangled up in his clothes. He pulled away from me suddenly. He sat up and promptly fell off of the bed – but hey, at least he found his boxer shorts while he was on the floor.

He threw his pants back on with as little coordination as possibly imaginable. He stumbled out of the room and into the bathroom, so I started grabbing up my own clothes. After fifteen minutes had passed, I opened the bathroom door to find him passed out in the bathtub that was clearly not made for a man of his size, much less a very drunk man of his size. He was soaking wet from water that had still been in the tub, and he reeked of vomit. He was mumbling incoherently, occasionally prefacing a particularly poignant mumble with, “See, here’s the thing…”

I managed to get him to crawl out of the bathtub, only to have him lay down on the floor and hit his head on the door on the way down. I sat on the edge of the tub. It was wet and uncomfortable on my jeans, but I just wanted to make sure he was okay and get him into bed. Of course, it turned out to be a mixture of tub water and commit. He started apologizing to me and telling me, “I said so many things that were horrible.” As I was trying to talk to him to figure out what he said and to whom he said it, he started snoring. I knocked on his housemate’s bedroom door.

“I can’t get TLTL off the floor,” I said simply.

“Where is he?” he asked me, clearly annoyed that I had interrupted he and a friend’s “Let’s get stoned, eat carry away Thai food, and watch tv” party.

With a cringe, I replied, “Bathroom floor.”

“Just leave him there. There’s no way you’re going to be able to pick him up. I can’t pick him up.”

I sighed, said, “Uh, thanks,” and headed downstairs to decide when would be a good time to throw in the towel and head home. Shortly thereafter, he stumbled down the steps in his robe. He acknowledged me with a mumble and walked into the living room, sat down, and promptly fell onto the floor yet again. He started snoring…again. I left my seat at the kitchen table where I had been debating whether or not to finish my beer – he was still snoring on the floor, and he wasn’t wearing boxers. His exposed ass made it very clear. I woke him up to talk to him again, but he mumbled again and started snoring. I turned the tv down (it was still playing Peter Gabriel videos), poured my beer down the sink, covered him with an blanket, grabbed my coat, and left the house with a sad sigh. As I drove back toward the highway, I gave MTIA’s road a stiff middle finger.

I shouldn’t have gone over to “hang out” with TLTL in the first place. I knew he was drunk.

Two hours later, he called. I decided not to answer, because I didn’t feel like talking to a drunk mess. He didn’t leave a message. He called back. I answered.

“What’s up?” he asked me, still slurring heavily. It was clearly meant to mean, “What’s up with tonight?”

We talked for a bit, and when I told him I hoped he could get some rest, he hung up on me. I called him back. He told me it was an accident. We talked a little more, and then he started saying, “I have a thing.”

“A thing?”

“I have a thing,” he repeated.

“What is this thing?” I asked him.

“I have… a, uh, thing. Never mind. It’s dumb. No one cares.” He didn’t sound very upset, but as I told him that I cared, he hung up on me again. I called him back AGAIN, and he hit the STFU button on his cell after two rings, sending me to voicemail. I didn’t leave a message.

I texted him, and asked him to talk to me. I’m pretty pretty convinced he was going to tell me he has an STD. Fucking great. He didn’t respond, so I reminded him in another text that I care, that he hung up on me twice and then STFUed me, and that I hoped he got lots of rest and felt better tomorrow. I told him to take care of himself. I called him “kiddo.” If it was to be our last conversation, I wanted it to be kind on my end, even as I felt the anger that I had suppressed all night rising up despite my best efforts to chill out, pet my cat, and read a book.

“Ok,” he texted me back.

I didn’t reply. A few minutes later, he sent another text, saying only “oj.”

When I asked him what he meant, he asked what I was talking about. Stupid. Fucking. Alcohol. Stupid. Fucking. TLTL. Stupid. Fucking. Me. I explained what he had texted. He didn’t reply.

I was right to leave tonight, but I should have taken my beer with me. It was mine, first of all. Considering the fact that I have had the same lone can of beer in my fridge for over a month now, I reckon I wouldn’t drink it anyway, so I left it. But second of all, I left him more to drink. *mental head slap*

I will continue to talk with him long enough to figure out whether or not I should be getting tested for an STD, and then I’m done. Hell, maybe he will just disappear again for a few months. And frankly, I’m not going to wait to figure him out to see if I have an STD. He had three bottles of amoxicillin on top of his dresser. He doesn’t have any sign of an illness like strep.  I’m not a doctor, and I certainly tend toward paranoia and fear, but I don’t want to take the chance.

I’m tired of letting myself hurt over the things TLTL says and does. I’m tired of alcoholics. I’m tired of our emotional roller coaster ride and the sick feeling in my stomach that comes with it. I’m tired of wondering how many people besides me he’s fucking. I know I’m no picture of mental health myself, but TLTL needs help. He needs to quit drinking. He asked his doctor if he could quit taking his meds a few months ago, and the doctor let him. Maybe that was not such a good idea. Sobering up might be enough, honestly, but I don’t see that happening. For years, I’ve heard him say he’s going to cut back on drinking and then proceed to return to binge drinking most days of the week. He gets depressed and angry when he drinks, to say nothing of passing out in inconvenient places and ruining great dates. And, of course, if he gave me Chlamydia or something, I’m going to be really, really pissed off both at him and at myself.

I need to learn from my mistakes. For real. No more of this. No more. I am far too old for this shit. I shouldn’t keep making the same mistakes over and over again.

Tomorrow begins a new day. The house is relatively clean again. I can focus. I will buy groceries for myself. I will get caught up with my work.

It would be best for me to keep my distance from most people for a while. I had a pretty shitty 2013, and 2014 isn’t off to a great start. I’m on a dose of antidepressants so high that it made both my primary care physician and my therapist stare at me wide-eyed and ask whether I was sure that was the correct amount. Yes, I’m sure. And thanks for trying too late to hod back your reaction. That just makes me feel great about myself and the social stigma that comes with mental health conditions. I most like that when I asked my therapist if it was a high dose, she gave an extremely noncommittal answer. I appreciate her trying to sweep her reaction under rug, but I’m not an idiot. 200 mg is the maximum dosage for the medication I’m taking.

I need some real guidance. I need divine intervention. I definitely need an intervention, divine or not, so that I quit putting myself in shitty situations. Well, maybe I don’t. I already know how badly I’ve screwed up in the past and particularly in the recent past. I know that a lot of people are worried about me. I’m going to be okay. I’m going to quit taking triple the amount of pain medication I have been prescribed. I’d like to quit taking it altogether. God, I hope I’m going to be okay. Two nights in a row, I’ve heard someone whisper my name as I drift toward sleep. I suspect this is a result of the painkillers, which is all the more reason to just tough the pain out and hope that it passes.

I’m so incredibly irritated with myself. I’ve been a fuckup of the first magnitude lately. I say that I’m not an idiot, but even if my IQ puts me in the genius range, one has to remember that IQ measures potential, not “what was, is, and will always be.” So yeah, I’m an idiot.

So, for the seemingly hundredth time, I say I’m going to leave the bullshit behind. Tomorrow. I’d say, “Starting…NOW!” but I’m starting to fall asleep as I write, and I hear my father’s voice say, quite randomly, since that’s how dreams seem to go, saying, “Well, I don’t like the length of your index finger.” They are in a car in my dream; he’s staring at my mum’s hands warily, as if they could free themselves of my mother and tear the skin off her face.


Tomorrow. I’m  going to start over. I am strong enough to walk away from these crutches (no pun intended) of pain medication and sex and to face reality head-on for a change. It is likely going to be full of suck, but I can and will do it. I MUST do it. I wanted the dream of a happy life with TLTL to become a reality, but he hasn’t changed. So wish me luck like it changes the probability that I will follow through with my goals.

First order of business: Sleep.

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