When I walked into the room, he was splayed across the floor in a tangle of blankets, empty liquor bottles and cough drops. I couldn’t tell if the slurriness was symptomatic of the sickness or the alcohol, but the sickness is, at the end of the day, symptomatic of the alcohol, so I guess that explains it. I pulled him back into bed, and then his phone rang. It was the other woman he’s fucking, and as I sat there next to him in bed, he explained, “She’s really nice, I should answer it.” I rolled my eyes, even though he couldn’t see, because I’m right here, and he’s a fucking mess, and I wonder how could another woman put up with this shit? Oh. I mean, I guess I should be asking myself: how do I put up with this shit? I guess after loving someone for five years it just starts to feel…normal.
Nah, this shouldn’t feel normal. It doesn’t feel normal anymore. Why am I scraping him off the ground and trying to put him back together just so he can pay attention to someone else. I never wanted to be the main – I have a great track record as a tried and true side piece with him, but it seems like recently that’s changed. Suddenly, and without me noticing. Which is why I have to ask myself: is that what I want? Well, is it?
After he hung up the phone, he reassured me, “There’s enough of me to go around. I’ll never a let another woman come in between us again.”
Ah, yes. That. I roll my eyes again, even though he can’t see, because I know what he’s talking about. He’s talking about that time two years ago when he blew back into my life, tried to kill himself, and then I did my best to take care of him before he left abruptly to be with the so-called love of his life, which is now I guess the ex-so-called love of his life. I don’t feel reassured that he’ll never let another woman come in between us again, because he did it before, and it’s not that I don’t believe him, it’s that another woman is coming in between us right now. No, not the woman on the phone – the love of his life, whom he just broke up with. Not because he’s going to go back to her at any moment, but as I look at him, palavering at me with one eye cocked open, pasted into the bed which he probably hasn’t left for days, naked and dirty, I realize that he’s letting her come back between us because he’s allowing himself to be like this: depressed and destroyed by the recent break up. She might be gone, but her presence is still palpable in this parade of pity and self destruction. I can see her claw marks in his heart, and as I clean up the puke and the blood and the stench and the mess that another woman has left in the pit of his soul, I realize: there will always be something or someone between us. Some demon, whether it’s an ex lover or a bottle of booze, that is ripping us apart.
I wonder how I got here. Oh, I know exactly how I got here. That’s not important. What’s important is: do I still want to be here? Have I ever wanted to be here? And why haven’t I left? Because I can leave whenever I want.
So I go. Knowing full well I’ll be back soon. But today I am leaving. Today is what counts, and I can only hope that tomorrow I do what’s best for me, again.