The only way is through. It was how I came to take possession of the keys to my fifth address in as many years, hard fought peace found at the hearth of a faux fireplace. But with a master suite too big for one, its dormer ironically facing the place exactly one block east where Swenny lives. Close enough to be caught in the same moon shadow yet still out of reach.
But an alley way erases almost any distance between us at all, making Swenny’s visits so frequent that our dog spends his days in anticipation. And leaving me lightened by the chores he so willingly takes on, seeing for himself what needs to be done. As if he lived here, too.
But he doesn’t. And when he stopped by last week with flowers and candy after I hurt myself on a run, the familiar scent of vodka reminded me why. He denied that he had been drinking, so I let it go. But that doesn’t mean I accepted it. Which is why, for as long as I am able, I will remain firm that a sober Swenny is welcome to live here. One with cirrhosis and ascites who continues to drink has at least one stop to make before calling our house home.
My hope is that that stop will be inpatient rehab. At this point, it is just a phone call away…ten numbers to tap on his screen to continue the conversation he left off on Wednesday – his second – with an admissions specialist named Linda. A conversation he chased with a swig of vodka to steady himself to take flowers to his wife.
I’m not able to make sense of that day, or of his procrastination to secure the help he needs. But without an endless supply of time, I am tempted to force the call. To stand ready with his bag packed, like an expectant parent anxious to get to the hospital. All the while considering his return home: to a house intended for two.
A house so sturdy that the strongest of winds leave it unrattled. A house uncluttered by the innuendo of addiction. Where the music we have listened to for years plays differently…with lyrics that once described the chaos of our recent past rewritten to sound our passage home.
Not all who wander are lost. ~ J.R. Tolkien