Jeans are not just Jeans (and the Memory Motel)

Just about 20 years ago, I was living with a man, may he rest in peace, and it was not good.  We reached a point where he took everything out of me.

I have never real been a jeans person.  I was brought up in a household where ladies didn’t wear trousers, let alone jeans.  I always had the odd pair for mucking about.

I left him, started a new job and moved.  Not too much stress. Still, as is my way, we stayed in contact.  Prior to getting the new job, I had been pretty much subsisting for several years.  Jeans were not a necessary.  I was unhappy with him.  I gain weight when I am unhappy.  He gave me jeans that no longer fit him.  At my new job, there was dress down jeans Friday. The 20 year old used  to laugh and say “Boyfriend jeans.”  I was happier and walked tons every day.  The weight melted off even though I had a big cookie every day!

I had been in straitened circumstances for a year.  However, the following year, I bought a pair of jeans for me for nine dollars.  I also had tons of vacation time and little money.  One of my friends had a holiday voucher he hadn’t  used for Montauk.  I loved Montauk.  This was in the very early aughts before it became a hipster destination.  I paid my friend  a nominal sum and headed  East.

Now, in the early 80’s I had a share in a house in Amagansett with the 70’s high school cheerleading squad.  They were preppy before  it was a thing.  They used to line up their Weejuns at the edge of the beach.  I was so not preppy.  Definitely, not a Weejun person.  They slept in T shirts.  I slept in lingerie.  We would go dancing at Shagwong’s in Montauk.   It was OK.  I wanted to go to the Memory Motel.  Yes, the Memory Motel  Rolling Stones one.  Memory MotelThe cheerleaders opted out.

Fast forward to 2001ish and me in Montauk.  I made a beeline to the Memory.  Well, in the intervening years, things changed.  It was now a dive bar.  Fine by me.  Me and my 9 dollar jeans and flip flops walked in.  Happy hour.  Pool tables.  Beer.  My poison has always been Scotch on the rocks.  I breathed it all in.  The man I left did not like going out at all. And when we did, he accused me of coming on to everyone.  It felt so good to be out and about.  I walked, so no worries with drinking.  And as always, men bought me drinks.  It was a different world to when I had last been up and about.  Men were trying to sell me on their prospects.  Inevitably, I picked up someone, Billy.  We went out for steak.  And he asked me out for the next night.  Dilemma – what  to wear?  I had already packed myself into the jeans.  I had to do it again but with a changed top, one that could cover my packed in tummy.  And please know, I HATE  wearing the same thing twice.

So, we go out for drinks. And he said, ” I know that Susan likes to drink.” (Ya think) “but what else does she like to do?”  Great question.  I had fought so hard to retain what identity I had that there wasn’t a lot leftover.  I forgot that I read, garden, cook, write.  Lesson learned.

I bought other jeans and no, I never saw him again.  I always packed my tummy into those jeans when I could.  Sometimes, I couldn’t even zip them up.  They became my gardening jeans.

Fast forward again to this past weekend.  Life has changed and I own more jeans.  But, and there’s always a but, I have lost weight and they don’t fit.  And the rest were somewhere else.  I don’t wear jeans in the summer.  It’s the change in season so no clue as to where they are.  The weather snapped and it was cool Sunday morning.  I had to drive Tom to the blood bank.  Gardening jeans! Hadn’t worn them in ages as gardening is something that’s been taken from me. And they were baggy.  First time, ever.  But… the spectral leg can’t be hidden.  When this nonsense and that’s how I like to think of it, first started; I preferred to wear the spectral leg on the outside.  It was a clear indication of what was not right with me.  I wasn’t using the cane at that time.  I nearly sacrificed a favorite pair of black leather pants because the spectral leg could not be seen.  Now, because of the cane, I try to keep it hidden when I wear pants.  But  Sunday, I wasn’t even going to get out of the car. Tom was upset that it was visible.  I am upset that I finally fit into the jeans, I don’t want to wear them in public.

Instead of representing the freedom they once did , they now represent the limits I face.  It’s time to give them up and move on.

Crashing

Well, the doctor did tell me to use the walker, at least till I meet with the rehab specialist.  I rang this week and he doesn’t accept my insurance,  However, he will see me at a clinic.  Tom doesn’t like that but we are just going to have to suck it up and go.

I have been unable to go to the gym this week as Tom is on another binge.  Aside from  the fact that the gym and liquor store are in the same center, he’s been too drunk to really go out in public.  It is what it is.  So, as an alternate measure and part of my plan anyway, I have been doing the stair stepper as much as possible.  The  most I’ve reached is 6600 steps, not enough.

So, what I did on Thursday, was lock the room door.  It is the only room in the house with a door.  This allowed me to do some thinking, writing, reading and even watch programs that I like while I did the stepper. I did get a bit wobbly.  Tom spent most of the day passed out.  After 5, I unlocked the door.  Dunno why.  Just did.  And years ago, he did destroy the door so it’s not like it means anything except symbolically.

The last few weeks I have felt myself deteriorating.  Ever optimistic, I have tried to attribute it to the intense stress that I have been under as well as the lack of activity.  In order for me to take control, I took the walker out from behind the door yesterday.  I need to practice with it before I use it outside and frankly, I needed the extra support.  I almost  never use the spectral leg or cane in the house but I guess life is beginning to change.  I struggled not to weep.  How did this ever come to pass? How can I consider this a viable option?

It happens sometime after you become an    adult.  You walk down the street and see a reflection in a window.  Who is that adult that resembles you if you were grown up?  Wait a minute!  It’s you and you are grown up.  The next step is inevitable.  You catch sight of yourself and….  Yes, I see a little, fragile, misshapen old lady.  How the hell did that happen?

It’s after 5 and I felt a bit weakish.  I didn’t have the cane in my tiny room.  I went to sit down and somehow I didn’t sit on the chair correctly, lost my balance and fell.  I fall well but still make all kinds of noises along the way down.  Tom had been passed out in the other room.  He rushed in bloodshot eyes and all.  This man does not wake up well in the best of times.  I was flat on my back on the floor.  There’s an upside to everything.  Due to drunkenness, I had  a bag filled with bags of tea on the floor.  It was supposed to have been taken upstairs and out of the way.  I can no longer go upstairs without help so it was lying there.  Lucky!  My head hit tea instead of the floor.  So there I was.  I wasn’t hurt but couldn’t move.  This is a man with three sisters and I think he might have played with dolls or maybe not because he has no concept of how real limbs work.  I literally can’t sit up.  First order of business is to get me upright.  He pulled but I have no strength at all apparently in my core.  I slid back down.  It took awhile to explain I needed something to hold onto to keep me in a seated position.  We get there.  Next step is get me to stand or into a chair. Ha!  This is when I discovered my right leg  no longer works.  It cannot bend .   I cannot even cry.  Picture this.  Sometimes, I have problems getting out of the tub.  I lift my right leg with my arm.  If it doesn’t stay up, Tom comes in and lifts it for me.   I explained to Tom that we were going to have to do the same action but not in the tub.  He was still fuddled. Back to I do not have doll limbs.  The video would have gone viral.  Somehow, we got both legs bent.  Then  I flipped over like a bug.  Somehow, I managed to pull myself up onto the chair.  Tom stumbled back to bed.

This was a pretty devastating evening.  I knew I had deteriorated but not to this point.  I guess I need to buy one of those I’ve fallen and can’t get up devices.  I am so scared and frightened.  I WILL NOT BE IMMOBILE.  I WILL DANCE AGAIN.   I must be delusional.  The only thing to do is fight harder  Someone just told me today, in another matter, that my persistence paid off.  I guess I need to keep it up.  I am losing strength all around and crashing

Old Girlfriends, Postal and Rituxan

What a difference a day makes!  An update on the postal situation from yesterday.  I placed calls to his landlord, psychologist and the VA.  The VA was helpful.  No calls from the others by 4 p.m. so I call K back.  He’s very cryptic and said the situation has been settled for $400.  He doesn’t sound right.  “Are you on drugs?”  “Of course.”  I finally am able to get his cousin’s name and phone number out of him.  Bombshell.  K has checked himself out of facility and told them and cousin that he is coming to live with me.  This is not possible on so many levels.  He appears to grasp this and states his intent is to check into one of the cheap, tawdry motels on Montauk or Sunrise.  In fact, there is one within walking distance of my house that I call the Pedophile Motel as a year or so before we moved in there were legal issues as it appeared the town and county were housing all the pedophiles there. Alright, I tell him we’ll deal and get him situated.  I tell him that I have called the landlord and will call him again.  My husband is livid over the situation and thinks the landlord has K’s belongings.  He wants to drive over, get everything before it’s tossed then drop the dime on the illegal rental.  K says don’t call him again.  He’s spoken to him today and landlord was very cold. He also tells me to say nothing of his plan to his cousin. Now whilst I am having this conversation with K on my landline, I hear other calls coming in and my cell is ringing too.  I see one call on the cell is my neurologist so husband picks that one up.

I hang up and see the landlord has called me.  I ring back.  Wow.  K has played us all.  I worked for years on a phone so I am really good with voices and lies.  Landlord is a straight up guy.  After I saw K just before Labor Day weekend, he rapidly deteriorated and was falling several times a day.  It culminated, ironically, enough on September 11, when landlord S’s children heard yelling. K had fallen facedown for 10 hours.  K was refusing help.  S told him paramedics or police.  He was hospitalized for 5 or 6 days.  During his episode, he had crystallization of his blood.  K was released to an assisted living/rehab facility.  Ironically, my husband and I drive by there all the time.  He was there until the end of September when the insurance ran out.  The cousin P was called.  The facility told him that K could walk 160 feet with a walker.  However, he had degenerated so much during this period that he was not allowed to use the bathroom on his own.  S had looked into the apartment with a view to making it handicapped accessible.  K had lived there almost 11 years.  Apparently, he has not had control of his urine or bowel for sometime.  The apartment/room needed fumigation and a new floor.  S also determined that he could not assume the responsibility nor have his children exposed to the consequences of falling,  S drove him to the cousin P in Maryland.  He had to help him in the bathroom on the way down.

The first night at the cousin’s he fell repeatedly.  The cousin called an ambulance.

I have a call into the cousin.  The cousin takes care of his nephew who as far as I can ascertain on the phone has at minimum a significant speech impediment.  I call twice leaving messages.

In the meantime, the psychologist has left a message for me on my cell.  All three of these men know of me as an old girlfriend, not my name,  just an old girlfriend.  The psychologist, B, and I have quite the conversation.  He has treated K for years.  In fact, he has retired and is very old.  He sounds ancient on the phone.

B never knew that I knew K at the time of the original postal  incident.  I had to go into therapy because of it.  I couldn’t handle it and left K for someone else.  K stalked me and threatened me when he found out.  I know, atrocious taste in men.  At that time in the late 80’s, there wasn’t the awareness or sensitivity to domestic violence there is now.  The police told me there was nothing they could do until he actually hurt me.  Their suggestion was for me to move.  In Suffolk county at that time there was a rash of domestic killings in a few months. I know because my girl friends, their mothers and my parents all cut out the clippings for me.  And yes, I went back into therapy once his meds were stabilized and I started interacting and seeing him again.

I give B the cousin, the landlord and the facility numbers as I explain he will have more weight than I do.

 

P calls back.  “Thank G-d you called.  I have been trying to get K to give me your name, number and address!”  He told K that he wanted to talk to me before he dropped him here  today. K has even told him I have been married twice.  P questions whether my husband will accept him.  K refuses to give up my address but instead tells P how to get my house from his room.

We have a most illuminating conversation.  P also knew of me as the old girlfriend, no name.  But he knew of my diagnosis, my two marriages and that I went to Hopkins.  Unless people tick me off, I don’t usually tell them I went to Hopkins but say I went to college in Baltimore.  I did the same yesterday and all three men said “Yeah, I knew you went to Hopkins.”  P found out from me the truth of the postal incident.  No, he didn’t hit 3 -4 guys.  They did try to provoke him to do so but instead his blood pressure rose so high he nearly stroked out and was taken out by ambulance.  I thought K’s father and mother were both evil and I do not use that term lightly.  K is older than me and his teachers reported the father for child abuse.  In that era you could just about kill your kids.  There were 6 brothers.  At least two are dead and one has been institutionalized for years.  Despite this K kept in touch with his father who ended up living in an SRO.  When he died, his mother refused to have anything to do with the burial.  Only one brother came.  That’s one of my gripes against the mother.  She was a lay minister in the Catholic church and would not separate or divorce the father.  She sacrificed her sons.  I do not believe in that kind of G-d.  P told me as soon as they were old enough each son beat the father up.  K broke his jaw.  He also shared my opinion of the mother and told me more stories about her.

All three men and I shared stories of K’s increasing paranoia and remoteness. I bought a computer for K once when I had a huge bonus.  Good fortune is meant to be shared.  A few years later he returned it to me saying it was broken,  Maybe,  but apparently was truly paranoid about it.  He wouldn’t use one at the library either.  He only recently had a cellphone and I believe it was through a program.  Caller ID displayed LI Spinal Foundation.

P can’t fight him any more and told K he will take him anywhere he wants to go.  He will leave him at a motel, wait an hour and call 911.  I beg him to let me know and I will call if necessary.

Oh, and the call my husband answered on my cell?  It’s my doctor’s office asking me to come in today.  I have been approved for the Rituxan.  I don’t even register this or remember it till after 8 p.m.  This is huge.  This drug could literally change my life. I can’t even process this.  I keep on forgetting!

 

My husband wakes in a rage this morning.  How could anyone dump K?  I repeat our 911 plan.  Smack forehead.  Of course, the police will come before ambulance.  We anticipate his resistance and see jail in his future or else due to late father’s influence (top police lieutenant) K being able to stay in motel to die.  He was able to get out of a traffic incident this summer dropping names.

I call the VA again this morning.  They suggest the cousin drive him directly there.  He is technically homeless and they have a shelter on the property.

The Catholic hospital nearest me said if there were mental health issues, they couldn’t take him.

I call the psychologist.  He has had no luck with the cousin.  He said P was adamant K was going to New York.  He and his wife also had the same serious reservations about the 911 plan.  B then revealed that K was so paranoid that for five years he would only meet B at diners or restaurants away from where they both lived.  His opinion was that K cannot survive in a group situation. Also, none of us must have any guilt   as we all have done much more than could be expected.  We are all good people.

At ten of two this afternoon, the phone rang.  It was P.  He went to get K at 8 and asked where are we going?  K said I’ll let you know in 4 hours.  P refused.  They went to 7 -11 for an hour and a half.  For now sanity has prevailed and K has agreed to stay and sign on a contract to live there. He says he doesn’t want to die in Maryland.  The cousin says who wants to die?

We all agree that this is very sad.  It is.  I agree we all tried to do the best we could. But I am looking at it another way.  We have all known K for decades.  We knew of each other – the old girlfriend, the cousin, the shrink, the landlord.  He reduced us  all to the role he wanted us to have in his life. We all do that.  K is just more extreme about it due to his emotional issues.

Ok, not guilt but I am so questioning myself.  How did I let myself so eagerly be a part of this.  K and I never officially lived together.  I have been married twice, lived with someone and had numerous affairs.  Through all this we have been constants in each other’s lives.  We have been “in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer.”  I need to process what it means.  I sense that somewhere along the way, we all failed him.  And I, I failed myself.  Why can’t I let go?  Why have I maintained a relationship with a man capable of hurting me physically? All relationships involve hurt.

If this crisis had not occurred, we all would still be in our roles.  How do we as a society perpetuate these situations?  We are all so close and yet so distant.

Postal

I need to get this out.  Consider it a rant, vent and reflection.

I have been worried out of my mind about my postal worker.  We argued at the end of August about his buying a car.  Yes, ok, I get it.  I have bad taste in men.  We have been friendly since 1984.  About 15 years ago, we agreed we should have married but since we didn’t, it really did work out.

Given that , we have never really argued.  We would separate.  Well, we did have a major fight somewhere around 1986 but it sorted.  I never stood up to him until the end of August over the car. Since he has Parkinson’s and mini strokes, limited income, my feeling was that he shouldn’t drive and could use taxis.

Now, my birthday is end September and he always, always calls me, sends me a card, drops by or gives me a present whether I  have been married or living with someone else. Freaked my landlord out once when they came home and found flowers on the steps.  Maybe not on the exact date but within a week.  This time nothing but I know he’s stubborn and not well.  K is paranoid, for real.  He will not answer unless he knows who is calling.  Also, since the 80’s he always has a piece of music for voicemail.  When I left him for real in 1988,  he had Fine Young Cannibals “Good Thing”  for weeks.  There is no music and the memory is full.

We have always been there for each other.  He came over with blues CDs and Clapton when Buster the Biker dumped me (just before current husband).  And he was a drug and alcohol counselor when he was in the army so he has been very helpful to me as I have been on this journey with my husband. I have listened to him and held him as he has cried over breakups and his father’s death.

As I continued to be unable to reach him, I became increasingly upset.  This is one of the reasons I stand by my husband.  He called all the local hospitals for me last week.  No results.  We were about to do a drive by his home today and contact the police.

Yesterday, late afternoon the cellphone rang with a number in Baltimore.  Ah, another IRS scam, I thought.  Voice mail! From K.  But it’s weird.  There is someone in the background with an accent who seems to be telling him what to say and the callback number is different.  I know he has a cousin in Maryland but I begin to freak.  I rang him back. Someone else answers the phone.  It sounds like he says he is a medical resident, whatever that means.  A twisted tale.  Somehow, K  decided to live with his cousin in Baltimore but now he’s in assisted living?  I saw him at the end of August and whilst he had issues walking, he was competent and functional.  His story is garbled and makes little sense. He says he woke in his cousin’s house and crashed into things. This would be normal as he has definitive mobility issues and has been living in a room for about 10 years.  The cousin called the paramedics and he was hospitalized for 5 -6 days.  He was sent to assisted living.  He is complaining about the food.  He says that they are charging him $5500 a month. On his credit card!  Now, K  has been on postal disability since 1988.  His monthly income is much, much less than that.  We live in metro NYC area so there is no way he has that kind of savings.  He tells me that he has to charge it.  I ask him where he is.  Someone puts the brochure in front of him.  He has difficulty reading it but I get the name.  This whole conversation is a torturous process , clearly not helped by my berating him as to why he didn’t let me know he was leaving.

He is a Vietnam era vet.  He also should be a Medicaid candidate.  This whole thing smells and stinks to me.  I keep on telling him he has to get me on his HIPAA.  He is a Luddite and I get the distinct impression he does not know what I am talking about.   Even though we have been friends for over 30 years, I have no standing.  LOL, that’s the reason I married my current husband – to have standing!

I also explain I am extremely limited as to what I can do on a Sunday.  He gives me his landlord’s name and part of his phone number but also says the guy is a Jets fan and won’t pick up the phone.  I also have his psychologist’s number.  Again, no one knows me.  I knew his first psychologist.  I ask if he talks about me.  He thinks so.

So, this morning I call the VA, landlord, psychologist.  The VA can’t give me any information except to agree that it’s wrong and my best bet is to get a power of attorney.  He is in another state.  His cousin’s name is too common as are his brothers.  No callbacks  yet from landlord or psychologist. I gave them the number K gave me.  I asked K what the number is and get a garbled explanation of patching through landline.

I do know where he was living and my husband says we will go there tomorrow.  Husband is concerned about K’s stuff, too.

My college boyfriend is a public defender in MD.  I speak to him every other year or so. I call him and he calls me back immediately.  He confirms my instincts appear to be right; he knows the neighborhood where this assisted living place and confirms it’s in a bad place; and I need to get the POA to truly advocate for K.

So, here’s another thing.  The attorney and I go back over 40 years and K and I over 30.  K and I always reach out to each other in times of trouble.  The attorney called me a few years back because he could see something was wrong from my handwriting on the Christmas card.  He also was nuts after 9/11 because he couldn’t find me.  When he finally reached me several weeks later, he sobbed.  I hold my relationships.  I was surprised this morning that my husband said it’s a good thing.  He usually mocks me.  I am not sure what it means.  Ties that bind?

I believe in the divine and wonder if I am not working right now so that I can help.  Worse case scenario, we know that I’ll drive down.

I am tired of being strong and responsible.

What is love at the end of the day?

It’s not ringing right  for me.  Has anyone had a similar experience with forced assisted living? Scam? Suggestions?

Style and Grace and holding on to cry at home

I can’t tell you how many times I have said to myself hang on until you can get home and cry.  I was brought up not to cry in front of people, not my family particularly, but certainly the outside.  I have tried to live my life, especially when confronting obstacles and difficult situations, with style and grace.  It’s like a mantra for me.  Big girls don’t cry.  I have said “Style and Grace” every time I have been let go on a job.  I use it all the time, most recently in the situations I have been confronting on my job.  Okay lately,   I also take a bubble bath the night before potentially contentious meetings with Not Soap Radio – Bathing with Sharks.

I am getting tired of all of this.  I am hanging on.

So, I was not supposed to cry.  I didn’t receive my diploma on graduation day.  This was huge.  Additionally,  I never thought I would get married or have a wedding so this was going to be my day.  I was tapped on the shoulder and told I wasn’t graduating as we started the processional.  No one understood why I didn’t have my usual smile.  As we dispersed and I saw my parents, I started to cry.  My mother slapped me and covered my eyes with huge dark glasses.  I was out of work for ages and got a job.  I went in to have lunch with the owner.  He told me I didn’t have one; he had changed his mind.  Yes, here it comes another smack and dark glasses.  My husband was arrested and in jail right after my father died and I couldn’t get him out,  I sobbed on my sister-in-law till I wet her clothes.  Came home and started to sob.  My mother looked at me and said ” I thought I raised a grown up”.  And no, of course I didn’t cry when my parents died.  I gave both eulogies, no tears.  This comes at enormous cost. Yes,  I cry,  I gush rivers, just not publicly.  When I was diagnosed, no tears.  When the first physician’s assistant said “I think you have MS” I sobbed in the parking lot, not in front of her.  Maybe three times since 2008.

I am tired of holding on.

I had a meeting with the other ugly stepsister (work)  three weeks ago.  I thought I was being let go.  Stood outside and repeated Style and Grace, style and grace.  Summoned my grandmother’s spirit.  Walked into the room with my head held high and  SMILED.  Bathing with sharks.

So, this week:

I find out on my birthday that my health insurance company is closing.  Do you know how many years I had to wait to get covered for this drug?  It truly helps me walk longer and better.  If you saw me on the street you wouldn’t think so but it is better.  My new normal.  What happens with new insurance?  Scared.

Next,  I return to work and one of the ugly stepsisters wants a meeting with me to discuss what I do.  This is the woman that I reported to briefly.  I was like coyote ugly trying to chew my leg off when I was working with her.  So, once again we go through  “What do you do, how do you do it?” And  she is going to have someone who uses the word “wordsmith” to write something for me!  I can read the handwriting on the wall.

Husband has had a slip or several so I am back to being tense when I get home.  No real safe haven.

I had an appointment to discuss possible options yesterday.  Between the two meetings I literally couldn’t walk and was collapsing, bent over.

Today, I still felt still weak. Lots of training, walking, meetings.  Ran into guy who brought me back to this place. He’s been trying to save my job.  Calls me into a room so I thought I was finally getting the move and recognition.  NOT!!  My agent who handles my billing is going out of business.  No one else wants to take me on.  Essentially, this means I am out.  What do I do?  Go back to my desk and frigging smile!  Ok so I contact the trifecta- my doctor, lawyer, accountant.  In addition to my smile, I am known as a survivor.  Keep on murmuring style and grace.  My body is channeling all the stress and I lurch to the train.  They change the track and the escalator and elevator are broken.  Nearly fell going upstairs.  I do make it to the car.  My whole plan this afternoon was to get home like a pigeon and cry.  I started to cry close to home on the phone with my husband.  His response?  “Don’t be such a girl”.

No tears but my stress pattern is reverting to two I had years ago.  I used to have pre-fainting – pre hyposyncopia (sp).  I turn grey and my eyeballs roll  up in my head but I don’t faint.  Later years, I got palpitations.  Tonight both.  I know it’s holding the anger and the tears.  Now with this condition it goes through my body.

And tomorrow – style and grace.

Here We Go Again or Not

Well, tonight we were supposed to be taking the youngest and his fiancee out to dinner to celebrate their engagement.  We couldn’t go to the engagement party as it was at his ex’s and I believe I wasn’t invited.  He is not allowed to drive and the kids said they could get him a ride.  I was really looking forward to celebrating this moment in family life.  I was reflecting while I was at work how lucky I was.  I never had children of my own and I have come to love his two and believe they love me.  I never thought I would have a moment like this.  We had made reservations at a very nice restaurant.  I wore my new Calvin Klein outfit – beige and white sheath with gold accents and a subtle gold shimmer shrug.  Ok, I had on the ugly shoes.  But  I did feel nice.  My manager told me she loved the dress and I looked thin in it.  Ironically, I am down to the same weight I was when my father died and he went to jail 12 years ago.  Funny what time does to bodies.  Then, everyone was worried about how thin and drawn I looked.  He used to worry when I visited him in jail that I looked like a junkie because I was drawn.  12 years forward and I have middle age splodge at the same weight.

I have been thinking he was off again for a few weeks.  Not in a big way but just enough.  He sounded wrong this afternoon on the phone and I didn’t want to believe that he would do something on such an important night.  Swore when I got in that all was OK.   I was going along with it until I asked him for change for the restaurant tip. I had given him a twenty last Friday for a hair cut he didn’t get, plus he had some more cash in case he needed to come pick me up at work.  Tonight he had $11 dollars.  I texted son and fiancee that dinner was cancelled, cancelled the restaurant too.  In the old days, I would have gone along with it.  I texted his sister and asked for help.  Specifically I told her he had been drinking again; I believe probation will come either tonight or tomorrow and he will breath positive.  He is not allowed to drink on probation and I have an order of protection that he can’t drink when he’s with me.  Almost three years ago we had a stay away order which I didn’t want.  If he violates, that goes back into effect.  I didn’t want it then and I don’t want it now.  I am NOT a victim.  As usual, sis has not come through.  When this stuff happens, he’s not her family, he’s mine.

I have learned that it’s useless to talk to him when he’s like this but this time I have taped some of it.  I missed the truly nasty bits.  He is saying he doesn’t care and when he is straight he says that is the problem, he doesn’t care when he drinks.  He has come so far to have this slip up.  We have been having fun and doing things together.

I am in much worse condition now than when this whole mess started.  He literally helps me out of the bath at night.  He ties my shoes for me.  He helps me come home from work when it’s late or hot or I am too fatigued.  We have been making a beautiful garden.  This week he had to put my hair up for me because I was too weak.  He liked my Paint Night painting.  We laughed I am better than a first grader in art but not a fifth grader.paint night June 2015

I can’t and won’t go back to the way we used to live.  I literally had to take my pocketbook into the bathroom with me if I got up in the middle of the night.

I have taken the weekend, Friday and Monday off.  This costs me as I am a consultant and don’t get paid.  We were going to redo my home office and had bought the paint.  We bought a new TV that could be used in here too.  Obviously, it’s not going to happen.

And I am devastated and heartbroken.  Not eating, so will go below my “junkie” weight.  Last time he was arrested, I lost 6 pounds in two days.  Guess I’ll do what I usually do to medicate myself – read novels, write and make things but no bubble baths.  I hate being resilient but guess it’s what saves me all the time.

Bell Bottom Blues

I started thinking about Bell bottom blues after I referred to it in a blog about the death of an ex.  Song was on my brain so I got the Ipod out at work today and blasted it.  Howled in my mind.

I always referenced it for breakups.

I never wanted to fade away and apparently I didn’t. We have run out of days.  And I never ever wanted to crawl across the floor to anyone or beg. “I don’t want to lose this feeling”  I listened to the words today with a whole different slant.  I always thought of it from my perspective.  I never thought about it from the ones I left, it was always about me.

And in your heart I want to stay, I guess I did. It’s odd to think of someone loving me like that after all this time.  They always stayed in my heart.  I may not have loved them but I went out with a guy who said once you had slept with someone more than once they were part of your life, like it or not.  By the way, aside from my first husband, he’s the only one who doesn’t speak to me.

“You won’t find a better loser”  I have done that well.

My favorite part was always “don’t be surprised if you find me with another lover” .  It’s what I always wanted. I felt it was the ultimate f.u. and the horse you came in on. And Joebe found me with a few lovers after. Isn’t it the fantasy?  I survived,  I am over you and look how well I did.  I swapped you out.  It’s part of being a better loser.

But Joebe and I have run out of days.  And I ran out of them with Bobby and Richard too.  I wanted them to see me, see that I had made it to the other side as it were.  I guess they did, too.  Richard, I saw again.  Ran into him and disappeared for a few days together and realized what’s done is done.  He tried to call me before he died.  I didn’t take the call and chastised a friend who knew us both for giving up my number.  When I found out he had died, of cancer, before he was 40, I was glad that I had not taken the call.  “No regrets, coyote.”  What would we have said?  Who was sorry?  The outcome would always have been the same, the relationship was dead.  But wouldn’t it have been great to run across him with another lover and me with another one and feel all’s right with the world.

Bobby, I never saw again.  I used to look for him in the New York streets.  He died of AIDS before we were thirty.  He was the one when I have been to therapy and they say well who was the one that you coulda wouda married?  Well, aside from the fact that he was gay, we had the best time.  It was that young in New York kind of thing, hipsters before there were hipsters.  Doing all the cool stuff and wearing all the cool stuff.  He left me for a guy.  I didn’t know it  at the time.  His family blamed his death on me.  I couldn’t, didn’t keep him from himself.

I have always wanted to get to the end of the chapter, see the summer rerun and find out what really happened.  I realized when I was 18, life wasn’t really like that.  Still I keep on hoping and every once in awhile you get one of those moments of clarity.  I am approaching one now.  Maybe there’s a reason why we are not supposed to.  This is hard.  This is not satisfying and full of sunshine.

You did make me cry.  There are no more days.  It’s time to say goodbye.  And it really is, and the irony is on me.