13 October 2023

It is testimony to the fact my father has been drinking for literally all of my life and so it’s a bit “fish not being able to see the water it’s in” when I got the latest news from Doug today and it seems Dad is going into involuntary alcohol detox and I was actually not expecting that. Hadn’t even thought about it.

The way my brother prefaced it was “well, I know now Dad was lying to me” because apparently Dad told him he wasn’t drinking more than a bottle’s worth of whiskey (he favors Early Times Kentucky bourbon… mixed with Coca-Cola, and it is nasty that way) in a month. I suppose it depends on how one defines “bottle,” and I just looked it up and I’m pretty sure the sizes I saw available at the stores we frequented when I stayed with him two years ago were the 750 mL and the 1 L, and of course 750 mL is three-quarters of a liter. It’s not half. So even if he had been getting the 750 every fucking week when we’d shop — even if he’d been getting it every other week — if he’d meant the one-liter when he told Doug “one bottle,” the amounts I saw added up to THREE liters if bought weekly, and 1.5 if every other week. So, yeah. Lying through his fucking teeth.

He’s lied about it for years. I even caught him lying to Carrie, and he adores Carrie. The woman has just enough class that she probably knew he was lying but elected to be diplomatic about it. But it’s south Louisiana. Between her and me we probably know enough alcoholics down there to start a new Acadia Parish branch of Alcoholics Anonymous. We both know how it goes. I will be stunned if I’m wrong about her. Anyway, the lying was bad enough when it was just about drinking. Then he kept drinking and kept lying when he went diabetic and then kept right on going when he began his kidney failure process (it will progress if you can’t stop whatever’s causing the failure, until one day you need transplant or dialysis), and by that point it was is there something you want to tell us, Mister Doug (my brother’s named after my dad), because that sure looks like slow suicide to us.

I was probably the only one he never tried to bullshit about his drinking because I was one of very few who never gave him shit about it. (Or questioned him or admonished him in general. I wouldn’t say Carrie gave him shit about it, but she said things from time to time.) I do not say that out of pride. I’m not ashamed of it, either. He knows he drinks too much. He has known he drinks too much since he was seventeen. If telling him he drinks too much would have helped, the man’s going to be seventy-two next month if he lives that long. Either he’s stupid or he doesn’t care. He got all the way to senior chief petty officer in the Navy. Man’s not stupid. Can’t cure lack of caring. That’s on him. All you do with someone in a bind like that when you fuss at them is activate their persecution complex and then they dig in their heels, no matter how stupid it looks because they know that you’re right and that they’re hurting themselves.

Well, actually, he might have lied to me, come to think of it. I don’t know, I can’t remember anything specific, but I know at one point it was not out where people could see it, and the problem with lying to someone who cleans your house is eventually they’re going to find the stash. But I want to say he’s only done the big production number of “I have quit drinking” maybe once or twice to me in my near-half-century of life. Because again, I don’t make a big deal out of it.

Only experience is going to teach people like my father, if anything will at all. Shame he wasn’t conscious for this object lesson. They had to restrain him when he went into DTs.

I actually kind of wonder if his setback yesterday was an early warning sign of it. Would actually be good news if I’m right, because if he can get all that out of his system without up and dying, he might actually wake up afterwards.

He won’t like himself when he does, and he’ll feel like shit. But we’ll see.

(I don’t actually think he will come out of this, but nothing ever seems to go the way I think it will go. In this case, I’ll be very happy to be wrong.)

The day wasn’t as good as I’d have liked. That was mostly on me. After making about sixty bucks, I had to pee, and I was close to home and it was either pee at home or go to Meijer, and Meijer’s restroom is usually disgusting. Okay, that’s a strong word — Unpleasant. It’s an old store, it needs renovation, it’s not run well, no one’s paid enough (I think their starting rate is UP TO $13 an hour — department-store retail is usually part-time when you’re starting, too), and it shows. I thought, fuck it. It’s nice that I can just run home. So on the way there, I thought, you know what? I’m tired of this shit, and so I decided to just call it a day. But hey, sixty-something wasn’t terrible. I’d feel better about it if (1) I had done more this month already and (2) I weren’t pretty sure I’ll be starting work next week, and I’m not sure when I’ll get paid. It’s supposed to be weekly, but being a new employee will mean pay will be delayed at least a week. I didn’t see whether they have same-day pay, either. But Quantum didn’t advertise having it, so that’s no metric. But hey. Could be that whole thing will fall through. I don’t know.

I need to start rebuilding my life and it’s hard to know where to begin when you’re stressed out, just surviving, and every possible route to get out of your situation looks like descending into hell. And when you don’t trust anyone anymore. That too. I try to think about what I want my life to look like and every time I contemplate things I realize that several of the elements involved require that other people notice I exist, are not unhappy that I exist, are willing to engage with me and whatever I’m offering or wanting to do, and so on. Tall order, I suppose.

I will not even go near the dating-again thing. Dead end. To be fair, fucking would likely be very painful at this point. I just have a feeling. And that’s one more thing I need to address and can’t. But I’d want more than that anyway and when do I ever get it? I don’t. I get idiots who would rather spend money than talk with me. Or listen to me. Or actually hear what I have to say. I’m over it.

Maybe I’ll just start a plant collection. I already have three.