I chickened out last night.
One of my biggest character flaws in this little life of mine is my naivity about human nature. I always expect the best from those around me and no matter how badly someone fucks up, I’m there for them to get them back up, dust them off and help them straighten everything out. Despite knowing that the pattern is bound to repeat, I stick by my friends because in my mind, there is a seperation between my friendship and their actions. This is how I maintain friendships with opposing factions of friends. As far as any controversies and drama are concerned, I’m neutral territory. I’m Switzerland. I stay out of the gossip, stay out of the stories and base my opinions on how someone is with me. Last night, though…last night, I began to think maybe I should have listened to the rumor mill.
My first time meeting you was at a concert. You were dancing with everyone in the crowd and having a great time. You were funny and hard to miss being taller than most of the women in the room. We talked for awhile and you made me laugh. As the night wore on, you got hammered and I lost track of you but the next day, you added me on crackspace. A few of my friends pulled me aside when I mentioned your name.
“Don’t get involved with her,” they said. “She uses and abuses all her friends. She gets absolutely trashed every time we go out and you will end up babysitting her every single time.”
I dismissed these charges against you. You had made me laugh. You had gotten inside my heart, and since I expect the best from people I call friends, I didn’t think you would abuse my friendship and my trust.
I was wrong.
Several times now this pattern has repeated: sober and fun, absolutely hammered, disapearing and then re-appearing with random guy, having to rescue you from random guy and then making sure you got home safely and didn’t pass out on the front steps. All the while, I found myself making excuses for your behavior. You had a hard week. Your ex was hounding you. Etc, etc, etc. Then I realized that these were your excuses, your excuses for drinking, neglecting your childs needs, hooking up with random dudes, I was just voicing them again as a means to justify my sticking around. I wanted my friend safe, I wanted to make sure you made it home safely and without getting assaulted by some random guy whom you made out with at the bar who thought he was taking you home. Someone had to look out for you and since you had no intentions of looking out for yourself, I had to do it. I let you use me. I was a doormat.
Last night, I faced some hard truths about you. I love you when you are sober, we have a great time hanging out and the laughs just don’t seem to end. We have shared some good times and I wish there were more of those. Those are the memories I treasure and the reason I stuck around. The good times with you. But last night, the ugly truth of who you are came to light.
You are an alcoholic and you seriously need some help because your life is just spinning out of control. You need help and it won’t be coming from me.
Yesterday, you texted me, asking to go out. I suggested going to the beach after I get out of work, nothing I love better than walking in the surf after dark. You agreed and we made plans to meet up. When I finally got to you, I knew it was a mistake. You came running out to give me a hug and I could smell the beer already. Talk of just the two of us hanging and chatting and going to the beach was long gone. You slurrred about going to someones house for a bonfire. I reluctantly agreed. You introduced me to some hillbilly redneck you had hooked up with a week before. I knew what was coming. Like watching a trainwreck in slow motion, I saw the whole night unfold in front of me. You insisted he come with us to the beach. I immediately disliked this loudmouthed redneck and didn’t want him in my car, but you were insistent, I relented and we all headed to the beach. You half passed out on the way there and several times, I had to stop you from flashing cops as we passed them. The hillbilly kept egging you on and running his mouth. Took all my strength not to reach back across the seat and smack the shit of him. After wandering the beach, we headed back and then, you did something that completely surprised me: you hopped into the backseat with the hillbilly.
I lost my mind at that point. All I could see was red. To be honest, I don’t care who you hook up but you don’t do that in your friends car. Don’t use me as a chauffeur. If all you wanted to do was hook up with this guy, and had no real intentions of hanging out with me, you should have been an adult and had him pick your ass up and never involved me. My first impulse was to pull over and drag both your drunk asses out of my car and leave you there on the side of the road. The thought of you walking 30 miles in the middle of the night actually made me laugh. Maybe that would have finally sobered you up. Instead of dumping you out of my car, I cranked the radio up and floored it, making it back to that guys place in record time.
The hillbilly staggered out of my car and wandered over to his parked truck and began to loudly urinate on the side of it. Yeah, all class this guy. You really know how to pick ’em, hunh? I pulled all of his crap out of the back seat. “Is that everything?” I asked.
He nodded, almost fell over.
“Yup”, he slurred.
“Good” I said and slammed the doors shut and drove you home. At your place, I grabbed all your stuff for you, helped you find your keys and helped you inside. You were cheerfull, even friendly now. You thanked me for being such a good friend to you and proclaimed that it was “all good”.
I shook my head. “No, it’s not”.
Confused and ready to pass out, you stretched out your arms to give me a hug.
“All good?” you asked sounding like a child. I relented and gave you a hug. I sat there in the dark with you. I wanted to say so many things. I wanted to say this was the last time. I’m not your babysitter, I’m not your chauffeur and now, now I wouldn’t even call you a friend. You used me. And worst of all, I let you use me. What did I think I was going to get out of this friendship/relationship if this is how it always is? How can we enjoy the good times we have when the rest of the time you are this slobbering drunken mess? Do you know how much it breaks my heart to see you like this? Do you even give a shit? Does it cross your mind how much it hurts to see a friend just destroy themselves? Do you want to change? Somehow, I don’t think so.
I stood up, my back to you and headed for the door.
“Talk to you tomorrow”, I heard you say.
“No you won’t”, I said opening the door. I realized this was the last time we will speak. I can’t repeat this again. I can’t be there for someone who doesn’t have any of my interests at heart. I can’t be your doormat. And I can’t help someone who has no interest in helping themselves.
“Goodnight”, you mumbled from the dark behind me.
“Good Bye,” and I headed out the door, making sure it was locked before I closed it. I never looked back.
These are the things I wanted to say last night. But I chickened out. You were drunk and none of it would have mattered nor would it be remembered. So I’m going to quietly delete you from my life. No returned phone calls, no returned messages. If I see you out at a show, I’ll be polite. But our friendship is over. Please get some help. I love you, my friend, but you have burned off my good will and friendship and have destroyed the respect I once had for you. Please, I hope you realize someday how you are killing yourself and I hope you find some peace for the pain in your life that doesn’t involve obliterating yourself. I’ll miss you.