Radio silence

30 01 2015

The next few weeks were bliss knowing that Mort was a long, long, long way from us. Those clenched up chunks inside my brain and my heart that were in perpetual fearful anxiety of the notion of him turning up at the girls school, or randomly bumping into him in the city (me in my killer heels on my way to a meeting….him being the drunk in the gutter), or him actually showing up to my new workplace (my role being in part that of networking I would have turned up easily in .34 seconds on a Google search)….could relax…. just that little bit.

There was also a bubble of relief knowing that my parents wouldn’t be harassed by the incessant sounds of the phone heralding a barrage of slurring, ranting, swearing and blaming.

There was for that month only one phone call from him. Given that he was in rehab and without access to alcohol, at least the call was devoid of the slurring, it also featured a lesser degree of the ranting and swearing….but he doubled up on the load of blame. As usual there wasn’t even a modicum of responsibility but it was clearly pointed out that I was a cold-hearted selfish bitch for not being supportive ….”all the other guests have their partners who visit and bring them muffins, and stuff, why don’t you do that Ripley…what have I done to you for you to neglect me”. And yes, that is a quote. I wrote it down at the time to conserve conciseness. I particularly love the term ‘guests’ as though he had been invited to an exclusive soirée.

During that time I got a phone call from Bob, his best friend since the 5th grade. He reported that the conversation with Mort consisted of Mort spending the greater portion of the time recounting peccadilloes of their primary school teachers and the other part whining about the food selection at the Rehab facility. (somehow at $60k a month I doubt they were eating beans on toast). Bob noted that there was not a single mention or acknowledgement of the fact that his life had fallen apart due to his alcoholism and his decisions. Bob kept saying, over and over, “I have no idea who this guy is”.

Bob confided that he thought Mort had melted a part of his brain. He thought that the absence of alcohol would return Mort to a lucid state, but it clearly didn’t, Mort was living a delusional reality.

I am sure this was his mental self-image: photo credit: blogs.amctv.com

I am sure this was his mental self image: photo credit: blogs.amctv.com

this is what was really going on: photo credit: www.femme.fan.com

this is what was really going on: photo credit: http://www.femme.fan.com

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Leaving on a jet plane……everyone hoping won’t be back again!

12 01 2015

On the 14 April there was relief. Relief arrived in the guise of Mort’s brother from the USA who had flown over to pick up the dregs of what used to be his brother. He was on instruction to get Mort and take him back to where his dad had admitted him into a rehab centre for $60,000 a month. My relief was not that Mort might be ‘fixed’, the relief was that he would not be around.

My dad was in touch with Mort’s brother and was assisting with whatever he needed to get Mort the fuck out of Dodge. It was very touch and go with the hospital as the doctors would not sign the documentation that said he was ok for travel. He had an enlarged pancreas, low platelet count, 2 black eyes, fractured skull and his foot still in a cast. It was up to his brother to sign the waiver excusing the hospital for any liability.

His brother was in town for less than 24 hours, how on earth he managed to get that train wreck on a plane is amazing. I am sure that Mort actually did look as though he had been a victim of some sort of transport accident, though the fumes seeping from his pores would have betrayed that summation. I am also sure that given that there is free alcohol on the international flight that even years later, there are one or two air stewardesses that begin stories with, “Oh my god, I had this one horror flight, there was this guy….”





Sliding doors

6 01 2015

Mid evening on 12 April, 2011 my dad called me to report that he had just received a call from the manager at some self-serviced apartments. They had responded to a guests call about strange thumping about in an adjacent room. After several attempts to contact the room they let themselves in to find Mort in a near comatose intoxicated state and the room completely trashed. They called the ambulance service and his blood alcohol level was .39, to put that into context, .4 is apparently dead.

Clearly he was not a lively, or even coherent conversationalist at this point, but he had just enough whatever to refuse the paramedics to take him in the ambulance. My dad apologised to the flustered lady at the other end of the phone saying that Mort was not our responsibility.

Moments after I hung up, the phone rang and it was Anne-Louise, just to say hi and check-in. I shared the conversation of what had just transpired. I wish I hadn’t.

This was one of those pivotal “sliding doors” moments. If she hadn’t called at that moment, she wouldn’t have known the story, she wouldn’t have taken it on herself to go to where Mort was, she wouldn’t have talked him into going into the ambulance. If the door had slid the other way, Mort might have been thrown out with the remnants of a bottle and cracked his head open on the sidewalk for the last time. The story would have finished there. But no, the story continues (insert deep, deep, guttural sigh).

photo credit: sliding door movie 1998

photo credit: sliding door movie 1998