Tuesday, September 16, 2008

24 Hours in the Life of a Junky's Wife

8:40 PM: Get off work. Gather your things, and get in the car. Think, "I don't want to go home. I need to go to bed, but I don't want to go home." Call Nar-Anon friends, and find somewhere to go for dinner.

9:00 PM: Hold Nar-Anon friends hostage and make them watch you eat dinner and listen to you complain about how your husband won't stop smoking weed and playing video games with the 30 year old, unemployed neighbor, who seems to be taking up way too much space and time in your residence.

9:40 PM: Drive home. Cry quietly. Pray: "Please let him be asleep. Please don't make me have to talk to him."

9:50 PM: Call a girlfriend. Park in the road a few blocks from your house, and talk to her on the phone until you see the bedroom lights go off at home.

10:20 PM: Lights out. Go home, assuming you're safe from an encounter with your husband. Change from work clothes, pet the dogs, and get ready for bed.

11:00 PM: Climb in bed with him. Find a friend online to listen to you complain about how much you hate/love the handsome beast you married. Chat for a bit until he becomes too handsome to resist.

11:20 PM: Curl into his body and fall asleep in his arms.

3:30 AM: Wake up, weirdly resenting a lie he told 18 months ago. Roll out of his arms. Talk yourself sane.

4:15 AM: Wriggle back into his armpit. Back to sleep.

6:30 AM: He wakes up like a wildebeast, yelling at the dogs and sighing loudly. Ignore him. Force your eyes to stay closed and force your mind to shut up so you don't have to get up with him. Keep trying. When you can't fall asleep again, roll around in the bed, letting your resentments fester gorgeously. Tell him off in your mind. Tell him the way it's going to be from now on. Tell him, quietly, all about how he's going to get a job or get out, goddamn it!

7:40 AM: He comes in the bedroom and pounces on you. You're still telling him off internally, but you're pleased with the weight of his body on yours externally. You tell him you've been telling him off. He giggles and kisses your neck. Tell him how much you hate him, and wrap your arms around him. Bury your face in his chest and breathe deeply. Make love.

8:15 AM: Get up, get coffee, get dressed.

8:45 AM: Find weed paraphernalia hidden in the laundry room, and demand that it disappear. Swear you'll call the police if you find anything else illegal in your house, ever.

9:00 AM: Leave for work. Cry in the car, quietly. Listen to NPR. Try to settle down.

9:30 AM: Meeting with a client.

10:30 AM: Find yourself confessing your awful, complicated life story to another person.

11:30 AM: Back to work.

1:00 PM: Switch to another job. Work, work, work.

3:00 PM: Go home. Find the annoying neighbor in the house, playing video games. Find husband proudly painting a wall upstairs. Have a brief fight about how it's not the right wall. Tell him you wish he'd finish the projects he's already started before starting a new one. Feel sorry when he looks hurt and tells you he was trying to do something nice.

3:15 PM: Lock yourself in the bathroom for a mid-afternoon meltdown.

3:45 PM: Back to work. Work, work, work.

5:30 PM: Yoga. Breathe and breathe and breathe and breathe.

7:00 PM: Shower. Burn incense. Cry quietly. Get dressed.

8:00 PM: Nar-Anon. Breathe and breathe and breathe and breathe.

Talented Man Overwhelmed by Ernest Williamson III