I spoke with Anne-Louise the next day. Unbeknownst to me she sent her husband to Mort’s hotel room to perform an ad hoc ‘intervention’. Besides her husband knowing Mort as friend, he is a brilliant doctor (may as well refer to him as “Doc”) and could talk to him about addiction and what courses of action were available. (Problem as we would discover soon enough is for any addict to commit to a way to deal with the problem, they do in fact have to admit that they actually have a problem. With all that had so far transpired, Mort had still not breathed any such admission.)
It had been about 2 months since Anne-Louise and Doc had come to our place for lunch one day with their kids. As a doctor, Doc had certainly seen a lot of gross and surprising stuff in his time. He was not prepared for the sight (and smell) of Mort.
He could barely fathom that Mort was the same person who hosted lunch just 2 months prior serving roast on a table laid with freshly pressed linen, who carried a witty conversation and conversed about the ways and woes of the world. This man had somehow transformed his 4 star hotel room into a den of squalor. There were various fast-food wrappers strewn about the room along with countless drained bottles. His own appearance and hygiene was worse than that of the fetid room. He had bruises and scratches on his arms and his jeans looked as though he had stripped them right off a homeless person.
Doc talked with Mort about an addiction workshop that a preeminent hospital was running in the upcoming weeks. He was going to get him on the fast track to attend as an out-patient.
Doc and Anne-Louise urged me to allow Mort to return to the house. They stressed the fact that there was no way that the workshops or ‘therapy’ would work if he returned to an empty hotel room by himself at the end of each day. He needed family and support around him to get him through it. How I gagged on this suggestion.
There was this one moment in particular when I was talking about it with another friend who had known Mort and I since our kids started kindergarten together. Emma is a gorgeous girl, she is a country girl and as such she says it like it is, never any bullshit or sugar-coating. I so respect that. So when I told her what Doc had recommended, I expected (and wanted) her to say, “fuck that”…she didn’t, tears rolled down her face and she said, “yup, you have to.”
The problem for me was that all our friends said the same. They were thinking of what they would do if their spouse was in the same scenario and they were clinging to the memory of the guy that they knew. I hadn’t seen that guy for a long, long time and I was not at all comfortable having this decaying vestige of a man in my house. But I did.
That made one of us that attempted to do the right thing.