The next 10 days were like living in the third panel of Hieronymus Bosch’s “Garden of Earthly Delights”. I remember seeing this triptych painting in an art book as a kid. It had a visceral effect on me. I thought it was the most bizarre, disturbing and downright fucked up shit I had ever seen…..not unlike those 10 days that folded into a macabre loop.
I basically quarantined him down one end of the house and kept the girls with me at the other end. There was a great deal of vomiting in the first few days. He was either in the toilet or asleep in bed. When I did catch snippets of him he was scatty and delusional. At first I put it down to withdrawal though he insisted that he just had a stomach bug (because to admit withdrawal would have been to admit addiction). It then occurred to me that he was assuming carte blanche given that medical professionals and friends had recommended that he stay at the house. He wasn’t even bothering to conceal the manifestations of his
addiction choices, though he did still attempt lies, because lying was not even second nature, it had become his first.
I woke up one night and heard some movement at the front end of the house. I snuck down the hallway and stood unnoticed outside the open bedroom door where Mort was sitting on the edge of the bed. He was leaning over with his fingertips touching the ground by his feet. He was trying to upright himself to sitting position. He would attempt to push off with his fingertips and then mutter something unintelligible to himself. It was like his fingers were caught in a web of chewing gum. He would look at his fingertips and then laugh and the process would begin again and again and again.
I stood voyeuristically for 20 minutes….he was clearly in some psychoactive “Garden of Earthly Delights”…..and I was in hell.
ps – seriously go and check out the third panel up close….sheer crazy