My second husband died on his bathroom floor, alone. At least, that was what I was told. I found out that he was dead via an e-mail from his father who lived in Scottsdale AZ at the time. Ironic, no? You live less than 2 miles away from the person you’re still married to, and find out they’re dead from a person in another state.
It didn’t surprise me, though. The bathroom seemed to be his go to place to collapse. I hauled him up out of there more times than I care to remember. Then I quit. I couldn’t do it physically or emotionally any more. It became clear that he was committing slow suicide and I stopped wanting to watch the movie.
Yesterday, after the good bike ride, and coming home to coffee brewing, I took a shower and G called her chiropractor. I took her for the adjustment, then we went to Lowe’s to look at indoor digital antennas for the TV because we’re thinking of just going back to “regular” TV. It rankles me to pay $65.00 a month just to watch TV! Then, I picked up my daughter and took her to Social Services with the boys to drop off some papers. Apparently she has no gas till she gets paid on the 1st and instead of asking for money, she asked for a ride.
Then we went home. It was still early, before noon, but already too hot to do anything outside. So, we lay on the bed under fans and I finished a book and we got cozy and I think I fell asleep for a while. As days like that go, it was 4 p.m. in no time and since it was Tuesday, we went to our favorite pub and had 2-for-1 burgers and she had a beer (1) and then brought home a “growler” of the same, which I guess is about half a gallon. I stopped on the way home for a Blizzard.
It was still hot as hell when we got home, so I came down here to write yesterday’s post, and she watered everything and finally sprayed for mosquitoes around the yard. They have been horrible this year. ’bout 7-ish I came up and asked if she wanted to sit on the porch with me while I ate my ice cream. Yes. She came out with a beer–the last of the growler–only I didn’t know it at the time. We sat on the porch, watching the goldfinches devour the seeds out of the gallardia flowers around the yard and the hummingbirds in the hollyhocks. She started telling me about the garden and I knew she was drunk, though she swears she’s never drunk. She gets this…I don’t even know how to describe it…tone, way of speaking, kind of didactic, I know this and you don’t kind of thing going. Then she wanted to show me all around the yard. Okay, I thought, maybe it would help if she walked a little bit. We toured the yard, which was nice since the mosquitoes were at bay for a change. Then she decided she had to weed everywhere we went. Then at one point she stood up and started to stagger. THEN it finally hit her that she was drunk. Great.
We went inside. She went to her computer to play Farmville, whatever. I turned on the TV and looked at it, but wasn’t really watching it. The fans and the A/C in the window by the TV were both on, and I had the TV up loud enough to hear it over that, and the lights were off.
At some point, I became aware of some odd mumbling-sounding noise coming from G’s room. I didn’t pay much attention to it because sometimes she talks to the computer (don’t we all). But eventually it sounded odder than usual and maybe not coming from her room. I turned off the TV and went into the hall.
There was G on the bathroom floor, mumbling, mumbling. She didn’t appear to be sick, and I hadn’t heard a big thud, which I would have heard if she had fallen. I just stood there and stared at her. I didn’t want to speak to her but I forced myself to ask if she was all right. She said she was. I asked her if she wanted to get up. She said she didn’t. I said okay and went back to the TV.
See, I couldn’t do anything else. When I saw her there like that, it was Dean all over again. I just went cold. This is what I do in a crisis or a situation that would overload anyone else. I detach. I get cold, sometimes cruel. I cease to care. Immediately. At that point, she could have stayed on the bathroom floor all night and I wouldn’t have given it a second thought until I had to step over her to get to the toilet.
I blindly watched more TV. In a while, she started to move around. I went back and suggested she might move to the living room floor so I could get to the bathroom if I needed to. She agreed. She crawled…CRAWLED…into the living room and made it to a heap on the rug. I tossed her blanket over her and brought her the trash can from the bathroom if she needed it.
I let Peaches out and went into the bedroom, shut the door and read my new book. I checked on Peaches a while later, made sure she was in, closed the back door, locked it and went back to bed, read some more and eventually went to sleep.
I’m not doing this again. I’m not going through this again. But it’s her decision to make. I’m not a weepy, whiny, nagger. It’s not up to me to “fix” her. She will either continue to drink or she won’t. I will either accept that or I won’t. I’m still cold right now. Needless to say, I won’t be swimming in the lake this morning as planned because I don’t think she can get up to help me and I don’t think I could stand to have her that close to me today. So, I’ll look at this as another opportunity to rest my shoulder (much time under the ice pack yesterday). I’ll go shopping with my daughter and then I’ll come home and make my second eggplant dish. My life will go on. So will G’s. Our life together? That could very well be at a crossroads right now. Time will tell, I guess.