A Stalker Kind of Night

I want to go to sleep but can’t, despite exhaustion.

I should name this thing: is it loneliness, sadness, anxiety.

Everything kind of hurts.

And I’m hungry. But I hate the quiet house and the fact that no one is downstairs and the kids are asleep and this responsibility for them is overwhelming and so I stay here.

Writing to you is the only honest and true thing I know how to do right now.

Because I’ll tell you a secret: I think I have my own problem.

Today I took a detour on my way to the library.

It’s a detour I’ve taken before, if I’m going to be honest. Twice.

Right past husband’s house. His car wasn’t there, he was actually at work.

So that should be celebrated, because that means I get to keep my house.

Next time he relapses he’ll lose his job. Alcoholism is a progressive disease.

Last time he didn’t come home. For a week. He didn’t even call.

“Daddy’s at work,” I said to the boys. Many times. Even late at night. I think they were confused but I made up for it by being FUN mommy and DANCING mommy and HEY LET’S HAVE A JAMMY JAM mommy.

Being that mommy, the one who dances and sings because daddy is drunk and I have to do the jobs of both parents, is hard. It wears.

Taxes.

Maybe breaks you down a little.

I know it’s a disease, but I hate it.

So that’s why I took the detour, and that’s why I walked to his back porch, swift and brisk like I belonged, and lifted the lid on his shiny new trash can.

I didn’t need to see the beer bottle, nested on top, to know he’d been drinking again.

The signs were there.

My alarm bells were clanging. His eyes were dead. His manner was shifty.

It’s nice to have confirmation so as not to feel crazy, but now I get to feel like a stalker, a freak, a creep, a codependent.

A wife of an alcoholic.

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