I am numb, but not an unhealthy numb. I am focused on a world of things that have nothing to do with the Bon Vivant.
I am through with him, at least for now, and perhaps forever.
Our relationship has fundamentally changed, as I see him differently: His charms are not quite as charming. His bad behavior finally left a mark.
Not physically, of course, but he hurt me and still does not know that he did or how. It started beautifully, and ended horribly. As such things do.
I am treating him like a friend. I had decided I was going to tell him what he did, and what it meant, but I needed to do it face to face. I called him Tuesday afternoon . . . when he was in the airport on a trip I did not know he was taking. He flew home. Hopefully to recover, to heal, to figure this all out.
What I realized is that I can’t do this anymore.
I can deal with his alcohol and drug use. I told him when I saw him on Saturday that I would support him in sobriety as I had supported him in partying. I can’t deal with his just his drinking, with the horrible things he says and does when his brain clicks off. The coke keeps him connected, just as caffeine does for me. Otherwise, blackout, id, functional, conversant, no memory.
The impact of all of it is that I do not trust him anymore. I know — or thought I knew — the kind of man he is. But his brain when he is drinking . . . it’s not him.
I saw him on what we will call Friday night, but was actually Saturday morning.
My sleep schedule has been weird for a while. I have been waking up at 2 or 3 or 4 am and then getting up and starting work. Friday night, I had a booze-soaked business dinner, and then an invite to meet the editor, but I was tipsy and fell asleep. I woke up around 345 am. I got up, went to the bathroom, washed my face, and went back to bed.
My phone rang just before 4 am. It was the Bon Vivant. He sounded good. He sounded happy and alert. I hadn’t seen him for like 9 days. We were talking and laughing and I said to him, do you want me to come over? Of course he did.
I walked the dog, threw on a dress, no makeup, and called a cab.
He was sitting in the dark on his sofa when I got there. The lights of the city were bright, illuminating his bare chest and beautiful smile. Also, the bag of coke on the ottoman.
I knew he had been drinking, we’d covered his entire evening in conversation before I’d shown up. He shed more details when I arrived.
He offered me a key bump of coke, which I declined. He had a song he wanted to play for me. The lyrics were so on the nose he rewound the video playing on youtube on his gigantic television and played it again:
“call for me and I will be there
for the price of the taxi ride”
He played me more things, but he was rather deeply in his head, telling stories from his life and adventures from the week. He was careful to drop the name of the guy friends he’d been with. We were snuggled together on the sofa. I was laying on the inside, he on the outide. Eventually I got up and took off my dress and threw on one of his tshirts. Also eventually, he dumped out the end of the coke and four cut lines of it and handed me a rolled up $20.
He had told me he was going to finish the bag because if he didn’t he was going to want to get more. It had been an unexpected gift from his dealer earlier in the evening.
His heart was racing. I could feel it as my head rested on his chest. He told me he knew, he was trying to not think about it, as it only made it worse.
I did a line, maybe two. We smoked weed, which he also ended up with.
He wanted to sleep on the sofa with me. I learned later he has not been sleeping in bed at all. He hates sleeping alone, and he’s not been sleeping at all. He thinks better of it, and we go into bed.
I go to the bathroom, take off the tshirt and climb into bed naked, as usual. We’re cuddled together, and I am the big spoon, which is adorable, rubbing his head until we both fall asleep. Our dreams are vivid. I awake after a dream about an apartment fuill of people and a party and I am sort of surprised it was a dream.
We both awaken with sweat pouring off of us, as if a fever had broken. He peels off his boxers, we kick down the down comforter and go back to sleep, again with me wrapped arond him and our legs intertwined. There are so many points at which our bodies are touching that I start to count them. 8 maybe.
He had told me ahead of time he’d been doing coke and we wouldn’t be having sex. That wasn’t why I was there. I was there because he needed to sleep next to me, to have our arms wrapped around each other. He told me he needed me to hold him. I did.
I awake before he does — I’d already gotten 4 hours of sleep before I’d shown up — and I lazily toss my arm behind me, caressing his belly. Eventually, he wakes up, and my hand is lower. He is remarkably hard and we started to have sex.
Usually, sex with the Bon Vivant is exactly like everything with the Bon Vivant: fun, easy, satisfying, but a little lazy. Sometimes, it’s amazing and insane, but he is the beneficiary of a lot of genetic gifts and sex . . . well, he just doesn’t have to work that hard. And he doesn’t. Which works just fine for me. It goes on, for an hour, with him taking control only toward the end.
By now it’s after 1 in the afternoon on a bright summer day. We are making plans for brunch and he is laughing happy that he missed his golf game. Except, he didn’t. His phone rings, he takes it.
He quickly gets ready, throwing himself together in a pair of shorts, a vintage rock t-shirt and an excellent hat. He is talking as he walks from room to room about the fact he has to stop drinking. He does. It makes him ill and he is constantly hung over.
He is remarkably handsome, but he’s freaked out that his night of partying is showing on his face. I assure him that he looks perfectly normal, as he does. The only thing unusual about him is the fear in his eyes that something is amiss. My reassurances help him move with confidence. We hug and kiss and agree we will have dinner tonight, and he asks me to invite the Software Developer, which I tell him I will. He says he’ll call me at six and we’ll have dinner at 8. Perfect.
Except that’s not what happened.
Instead, he went to play golf, and I went to the coffee shop in the next building. I ended up going to a brewery with PRJR and then a quick bite after, as we were drinking and I’d not eaten a thing, and then home to care for the dog.
Six came and went, and I called him, but did not hear back. Then seven, then eight, then 830. By now, SD is checking in, and I am getting annoyed.
What happens next is confusing. I call the Bon Vivant, whose dried semen is still between my legs, and he drunkenly tries to send me to voicemail, but instead answers the phone on speaker. So, I can hear him as he says he is supposed to be at dinner, but he doesn’t want to go. I hear him chatting with two women. I listen for three minutes as I try to figure this all out, what I am hearing. Then I hang up. I call him back. No answer. Eventually he texts me an incoherent message that I believe said, leave me alone.
SD calls him — after I call and alert SD to the drama — and the BV answers completely incoherently and says he is home and in for the night. Or at least that’s what SD thinks he says, as he could not really understand him. BV tells SD to let him know if we make it to the CHB, which is where we are sitting as we have this conversation. We do not contact him.
SD and I end up having a great night, where he becomes so drunk he trips down the street and propositions me repeatedly. I put him to bed, check on his adorable kitten, and then cab home.
The next day, I go to brunch with SD and then PRJR joins us in the afternoon for us to watch a sporting event. I never hear a word from the Bon Vivant. No apology, no explanation.
I decide I am done.
I also decide that I will wait a few days to contact him, sit him down face-to-face, and then tell him he needs to get help.
I call him on Tuesday afternoon, and then text him on Tuesday, and I get a strange response back:
Me: [Bon], are you available for coffee — or a late lunch — around 330? [Plan] 1:19 PM
BV: I am in the airport 1:21 PM
Me: Safe travels. Lets catch up when you’re back. 1:24 PM
BV: What’s up 1:24 PM
Me: Nothing urgent. 1:26 PM
BV: Sounds good 1:26 PM
Me: Glad you’re feeling better. Have a great trip. 1:31 PM
I am thrown.
He clearly said “in the airport” not “at the airport,” implying that he is taking a trip. I don’t ask him where he is going.
I decide to go downtown. I throw on a dress and start writing a letter I do not intend to send.
This is it:
But I might.
Or I might just blog it.
I want to start by telling you that I love you. I have loved you since our “first date,” when I sat next to you at [fave bar] and you cried while talking about your grandparents. You looked at me as we made all of these connections that felt momentous that “this is real and this is serious.”
Even then, it was real and it was serious. We connected deeply and neither of us ever questioned it. It just was.
It was inevitable that we would meet. We frequent the same places, we have similar interests. Our paths would always eventually cross.
They have continued to, and at any moment, were you or I to decide we needed to see the other, we could accomplish it in less than an hour.
We know each other’s patterns and schedules. On the weeks I avoided you, I knew where to hide, where to skip, how to reorganize and reorient my life to avoid seeing you.
I don’t know how you see me. Because it’s often just you and me, you miss some of my bad behavior. I can be a snob. I have been spoiled.
I have tried to be open and loving with you, to enter this with an open heart.
I have been more vulnerable with you, but I have also tried to love and protect you.
I have been happy to be the last person you call when you know you’re in trouble. You know, always, that I will save you. You know when you need me, I will be there.
I told you on Saturday that I would support you in sobriety and in partying. Unbeknownst to you, I stopped drinking when you did. I honored that pledge to you, even though it was a secret I did not share.
The four days I spent with you before [your monthlong trip] were a new, more serious start for us. I knew you’d be a different man when you returned and you were both better and worse than I expected.
The start of those four days was the first time I was ever afraid of you. I had never seen you be purely id, trying every thing you could to get me to abandon my plans and be with you.
You were a monster, manipulative, ugly, using all of your inestimable charm to get your way.
Ultimately, you did.
When your brain kicked back in at some point that night, you were the lovely man I adore. The next three days were a wonderful drunken bacchanal.
You’re not healthy. We both know this. I always assumed you were closer to healthy than you are.
In [lake house town], you referred to yourself as an alcoholic and a drug addict. I scoffed. I did not take you seriously because I know you and I love you.
I know your brain and your heart and I viewed your issues as a function of your lifestyle not a function of your brain chemistry.
I was wrong. You were right.
. . . .
That’s as far as I got, but I wanted to capture it here.
The Bon Vivant posted a photo on Thursday in his hometown. It was a very obvious signal to me and to anyone who knows him that he is getting help. The photo was terrible, and, frankly, he looks fat.
I have no idea if or when he is coming back to town. I hope that if or when he does, that he has his life together.
I have decided to start dating other people. I have not actually gone out on any dates, but I am speaking to men. I am certainly open to it. I am actively talking to the editor.
But, at the moment, I am putting the relationship with the Bon Vivant behind me and moving on. I have things to do.