Lies, lies, lies

Ben Spencer – Apples and Lies

No I’m just digging in the sand, last to empathise, with your lies, lies, lies… True, they all go rotten in time.

Lately, every time Ben opens his mouth, I hear the lyrics to this songBen with his yellow eyes and beer-tinted breath. If I challenge him, he says it’s cigarettes. He pushes his face right up to my nose (because I’ve taken to sniffing him out like a bloodhound). He pushes his face up against my nose as if he has nothing to hide.

I was searching for a CD just now and found an empty beer can wedged under the sideboard… behind his keyboard. I got that distinct whiff while I was rooting through the CD rack, so I looked underneath the cupboard and there it was. It’s like an Easter Egg hunt in here.

I didn’t ask him about it. I tried, but he was out of it, face closed and unmoving. What’s the point, anyway? He’d just say what he always says: “I don’t know where that came from. It must have been there for a while. I can’t remember.”

The truth is, he probably can’t remember. He’s so far gone now, a shadow of a man, a light wind passing through a deserted alleyway. Sooner or later, the coins will be pressed onto his eyes, the stitch into his lips.

Our counselling session didn’t lead anywhere, really. I said my peace, they said they would talk about it… and nothing happened.

They’re waiting for him to own up to his drinking, to be honest with them and himself. He is incapable of that honesty. I expect he can’t bear to hear it himself. He can’t bear to look at what he has been doing – the lies scabbing one on top of the other.

Alcoholics are expert liars because they believe what they say. They will sit there, beer in hand, and tell you that someone else must have put it there, and when that doesn’t work, that they can’t remember how it got there.

He is downstairs, right now, smoking. He isn’t just smoking, that much is obvious.

Does he want recovery? This is the question I ask him. He says yes, of course he does. But he isn’t trying – not at all. He is taking the piss. Still, his mother is willing to pay for private rehab, and I have convinced him to consider it. I gave him an ultimatum. I’m going away for a month with Rosie. If he doesn’t go into residential rehab while I’m away, he’ll have to put up with having his mother here, watching over him. This alternative is so unpalatable to him that he is willing to take her money and go into full-time treatment.

I don’t believe it will make much of a difference. Well, maybe it will in the short-term, but it all depends on how much work they manage to do on his mind. Regardless of what he makes of it, it’s my way of getting him out of our home. It’s a first step towards my freedom. Maybe it’s a step towards his as well.

If he chooses to take it.

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