Saturday, 07.26:

That insidious hiss

He’s doing it again: three quick short hissing bursts, a sound I didn’t recognize at first because of its duration. It’s nine AM and I’m downstairs, packing up chapbooks to mail this morning. I got up at 8:30 and let Sadie out.  

Again, this time a long hiss. Can he think that I don’t hear it? Does he want me to come upstairs and “discover” him rigid and immobile? Does he not care whether I hear or not? After our terrible fight in June—most of what I threw at him is still scattered around my floor as a reminder to me (and to him?) that I am living in a serious mess—he promised (again, again) that he would stop. Only a few days later, when I came home from the June Poets’ reading, I went upstairs to the bathroom and found him slurring and incoherent as I passed his room. As if he’d forgotten when I’d be coming home. Or didn’t care. I don’t know. I used the bathroom and went outside to the garden. When he came out later, he acted as if nothing had happened, and I followed along, complicit in his deception. I’m sure it wasn’t the first time he’s sneaked back to this terrifying addiction.

Again, quieter but discernible. Perhaps his little can is running low. I don’t know how to stop this. S called the other day—I was in the garden, so she called Randy’s number after not reaching me—and we talked for a good 45 minutes. She’s offered to pay for a rental car if I can come in for a visit. I checked with work and it appears I have at least five days’ vacation available, so I’m sending S the dates (mid-September through mid-October) that I’m permitted to take vacation (between the end of back-to-school and the beginning of the holiday season) so we can coordinate a visit. I don’t want Randy to go along; I doubt he would go if I asked. I want to put him out of my mind, out of my life, for a few days.

Just as I feel myself gravitating closer to him, just as I find myself rationalizing that it’s a problem we can (overlook? overcome?) get through, get past, and I see myself going to his bed, holding him, opening that door that will lead us back to being together again—I get so close to this—and then that insidious hiss. One of these days I think I’m going to find him dead. I really do.

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