I am here, and I am not here. He is here, and he is not here. We appear and disappear in each other’s consciousness like mosquitoes.
Yesterday, he spent the whole day on the futon. The futon is taking on a fug of its own – an acrid amalgam of vitamin B, dry-roasted peanuts and stale beer. At one point, somewhere in the middle of the day, he roused himself and insisted he wanted to take Rosie swimming. His eyes kept closing while he argued his case. Naturally, he was arguing from a sitting position. Naturally, I said swimming probably wasn’t a good idea. He insisted he was fine, then tipped over onto his side and fell back to sleep.
Some time later, I was sitting by the computer when he got up, knelt by the fireplace, and peed. When I asked him what he was doing, he said, ‘Don’t worry. I know you’re there. I’m just going to the toilet.’ I turned on the light and he woke up. He wasn’t drunk.
This is the scary bit. I can’t tell whether he is still drinking, or whether he is abusing his meds, or whether he is just crazy. His behaviour is so erratic, I am on the verge of sectioning him. He is seriously mentally ill.
Today, I relented and accompanied him and Rosie to the pool. He was a sorry sight, in an old t-shirt and three-quarter length trousers with a hole in each knee. We were at one of the more salubrious leisure centres and I was suddenly consumed with shame and embarrassment… and pity.
I watched the two of them thrashing about in the pool and was terrified he would lose his focus and let her go. It didn’t happen. They emerged exhausted and frozen, but in tact.
Still, my nose continues to play tricks on me. Without warning, the smell of alcohol hits my nostrils and I am convinced he has been drinking. Perhaps I’m the one who needs to be sectioned.
He shouted at me for no reason at the leisure centre. And when he got home, he lay down on the couch and fell asleep, groaning to himself. He only gets up to smoke – which he does sometimes every few minutes.
I know that I have reached that tipping point, that it is time for him to leave. But he won’t go. So, I suppose I have to.