Not a lot of people know about S. My core group of friends that had to pick me off my floor knew: Harvey and her husband, Katie, Mel and a girl I'm no long friends with. Swayze heard rumors, I'm sure. Government Mule had yet to join the group.
Even though they knew certain things, no one knew the whole story. I don't think they want to know the whole story. Hell, I don't even want to know the whole story. The last thing I wrote about S in my diary was in November 2007 when we had been together less than five months: This is not a fairy tale. Do not let him see you cry.
It's hard, living with the details. Having certain images in my head that no one knows. When you go through trauma, you tend to remember all the details. Whether the TV was on. The shape of the glass he was drinking out of. The way in which he staggered to me, and the look of utter seriousness on his face as he spat that he hated me.
I read this the other day. The details. Oh, the details. The details were so specific and exact that I had to stop reading and check whom the author was. Then I had to re-read to be sure it wasn't the same city. I lived that story.
It was about two weeks in when we had our first serious fight and I shattered a table lamp against a wall. It would not be until much later that things got even worse (and that’s a whole other story altogether)...
It was about two weeks in when we had our first serious fight as well. Instead of throwing a lamp, S drug me across the floor.
I took a bunch of pills — painkillers — whole bottles’ worth.
S once took a bottle of pills while I was at home. An entire bottle of sleeping pills. I was in the other room, not paying attention to him, pretending he didn't exist and I wasn't trapped in my own home with this man who told me—no, threatened me—that he would never leave. He was acting peculiar, more so than he usually did. He was sluggish and not responding to things coherently. I found the empty bottle of sleeping pills after he passed out. Then I started checking his hiding spots (he was supposed to be sober at the time) and found an empty bottle of jager in the inside pocket of his leather jacket. I placed both empty bottles on the counter and got my neighbor.
My neighbor was somewhat friends with him. Knew him enough. He saw the empty bottles and the state S was in. He said we needed to call 9-1-1. I refused. I said the neighbor would have to call. If I called, S would become angry and I didn't want another fight. I would do anything if it meant not angering him. The neighbor must have understood what I meant, because he went into his bathroom, got his taser and shot it into the bathtub to see if the taser was working properly. In case he had to tase S. The neighbor then walked back into my apartment and removed all my knives as he called an ambulance.
The paramedics said S' blood pressure was too low. He would have to go to the hospital.
The light was piercing, and a nurse shoved aside the curtain that walled me off and handed me a cup and said, drink this. It was liquid charcoal and it tasted exactly how you might think liquid charcoal would taste. I tried not to put my teeth together but when I did little bits of charcoal ground between them like I’d a mouth full of silt.
To me, the liquid charcoal made S look like a toothless scarecrow. The nurse asked him if he meant to try to kill himself. I excused myself from the room. S said I could stay. The nurse said it might be a better idea if I left so he could be honest during his psych evaluation. I laughed to myself. I left so I wouldn't hear him lie.
His mother and sister refused to come to the hospital. His father did. His father sat next to me in the waiting room and told me—for the first time—that S comes from a long line of alcoholics and probably won't change. His grandfather died early from the disease. The same grandfather that S wanted to name his children after. I wondered if that was some sort of sick joke to keep the name of that horrible man alive. To create more alcoholics.
She was the reason I was in that emergency room in the first place. I guess I was the reason, but, I can’t remember what we were fighting about — it doesn’t — none of it matters anymore. What matters is that there I lay, and I said yes, and a minute or two later the curtain again swept aside and in walked my girlfriend... All she said was, “You’re not going home from here, you know that.”
I did not.
I said this to S when I re-entered the room. You aren't going back to my apartment. I did not sign up for the responsibility to keep him from alcohol. He could go to rehab. He could go home with his father, but his father quickly squashed the idea. No, he's not welcome there either. S stared angrily at the ceiling in silence.
I listened to the sounds of the nurses and whoever else might be in that emergency room beyond the curtain, and when I thought they were on the room’s opposite end or gone altogether I pulled the IV from my arm and sat up. I don’t remember if this hurt, but there was blood.
When S stood up from the bed and pulled out the IV, blood squirted across the room like a child putting a thumb on the end of a garden hose in summer. A nurse unexpectedly walked in and gasped. Apparently there is a mechanism in the needle to keep it in place, and he ripped his vein pretty badly by pulling on it like he did.
His father put S in my car to go home with me hours after the overdose. My words of him not coming home meant nothing. I was too weak. I was too tired of being drug across rooms and spit upon and choked.
I would do anything if it meant not angering him.