Chapter 12 Alcohol or His Life?
Excerpt from ‘Licking Honey Off a Razor Blade’ by Valerie Grimes, CHt
A month after he left for Florida, he returned to Dallas. It was August again. Upon his return he had become very depressed and went on a drinking binge that lasted weeks. He called me one day and told me about the binge and that he had been in jail for fightin.’
“Well Sal that was your choice.”
“Yeah and now my choice is to have you come over so I can relieve this hard dick I have.”
Those comments once turned me on, but today I was turned off.
“Sal, I’m seeing someone else.” He hung up.
A few days later, he called and asked for help, said he was ready to die. This is from a man that never actually talked on the phone, but sent text messages, or called but didn’t leave a message, so for him to leave a message was unusual. It got my attention, but the timing was not good. I had just parked my car and was scheduled to give a talk at a women’s group. I called him back I told him I loved him and that I would come over after my talk.
I took a deep breath to switch roles, smiled, put my shoulders back and head up. Then surrounding myself with a golden light entered the restaurant to be directed to a small room in the back where the ladies were gathering.
I was given a gift card for food or beverage and went up to the line where I noticed they served wine. Considering my talk was on stress management, I asked the wine to be put in a paper coffee cup with lid.
“No problem,” the guy with the matching cap and apron said, “We do it all the time.” Really?
Anyway the wine helped because, honestly I wasn’t comfortable in this group, but I smiled and hung back observing my audience, watching their body language, which spoke volumes, seemed all of them were confident and enthusiastic, which triggered my discomfort. Because rather then being happy for them I felt a little jealous.
The presentation started out strong, but in the middle, I got a little emotional so I shared with the group that I had gotten a disturbing bit of news just as I was walking into the meeting, “My dear friend is in a bad place tonight, I think he is ready to end his life, slow death by whiskey. I’m going to leave here and go and see him.”
An older woman motioned me over, she said she had a prayer cloth with the mark of healing or something on it and wanted to give it to me to take to him. As she pressed it into my palm, she smiled, closed her eyes and whispered something. I got a chill.
Then she said, “Go to him child; he needs you and give him this cloth.” Those were not the words I needed though, ‘Go to him, he needs you.’ But I considered it to be divine intervention.
I guess the prayer cloth worked because by the time I got there, he decided to order a pizza. Suicidal people don’t order pizza.
He was in the worse shape that I’d seen him, puffy face, left eye bruised from a fight, blackened nails from misaligned hammer and nail hits. As I looked around, I noticed he had attempted to hang a framed print that was until then leaning up against the wall behind a door. Suicidal people also don’t hang up pictures. Did he trick me again?
He did look pretty bad. There was also no food or money, so I convinced him to come stay with me for a few days. I felt again that I needed to save this man and no one else was there to do that, and because of the drinking binge he was beyond helping himself this time.
But I hated myself for bringing him to my place where I felt I had to be quiet as to not disturb him. Every ten minutes he said, “Val, Val ‘come over’, that was his way of saying, ‘come here.’ And I would, and he would be lying in my bed with his dick erect.“Just give it a kiss. He is sad.” Being uptight and feeling like I always had to be doing something, I would reject him and go back to work, laundry, dishes or whatever. Sometimes I would give in, agreeing with him and his favorite line, “Life’s too short.” So I would leave the Saturday chores and climb in bed with him.
I later called Mike to let him know I had reconnected with my ex. He said he sensed I was not ready for another relationship. Relationship? What’s that I wondered as I hung up.
I thought if I could just get him into the sun for a dose of Vitamin D it would awaken his spirit, and I knew that would help him out of his depression. So I planned a trip to the water park. That morning he was so disagreeable though, wanting to sleep in, everything was a struggle.
He drank a six-pack for breakfast and bought another one for the park. When we finally arrived I began to see the transformation, that little boy spirit coming out on that first water slide. It was wonderful to see his child-like smile. We went down the water slide again and again, racing each other up the steps and then freely flowing down the slide each in our own rows. It was refreshing and a little unbelievable, as it was the first outing that we didn’t fight.
However those moments were interrupted with the reality that he was more interested in the cold beer in my car, so he made several trips out of the park for his medication while I waited alone in the sun on my over-sized blue and white stripped beach towel.
The next day it was the neighborhood park. He pushed me on the swing and after a barefoot walk around the park while watching the ducks and birds with the wonder of a child, he took a dip in the park’s fake waterfall, and then he just lay there on the cement staring up at the sky; he didn’t give a damn what people thought. I joined him. It was an incredibly freeing experience. This man, that was addicted to alcohol and because he was fearful and now depressed, was teaching me how to slow down and relax and to be more self-referred, to do what was best for me without worrying if others would be okay with it.
Since running is my favorite weekend ritual, I have always had a fantasy about running with him so that the park regulars could see I had someone too, since I was always there alone. The next day he said yes to going with me, a huge rush for me. I was beyond thrilled; however, he is out of shape and couldn’t run at all. But he happily took my iPod and walked a bit listening to Kid Rock sing ‘Born Free’. He so looked happy, that great smile greeting the park’s runners and walkers, and I looked on adoringly. Yep that is my man.
Maybe he was going to be okay.