When my dad retired I am sure that he pictured lazy scrabble games with my mum over an anti-pasto plate soaking up the Mediterranean sun on their latest sojourn. When the toughest thing to worry about would be what to order for dinner. Instead my dad had become my full-time protector and logistics manager. He fielded all calls, requests and harassments from Mort.
At this stage mum was still in a state of disbelief that the son-in-law that she had been so very fond of had become this wreck of a being. If she happened to answer the phone when he called their house she would compassionately try and appeal to rationale and coax Mort to that point of “oh my god, what the fuck have I done”. He was still too busy with denial and “this is everyone else’s fault” to get to that point of accountability. She carried a hefty load of sadness about this and what the possible future consequences of this would be for the girls. This was yet another reason for me to loathe and despise him.
My dad had a conversation with Mort’s dad about the ‘what now’. While his dad had been willing to fund Mort’s rehab, he was not willing to cushion him with any finances. His exact comment was “give him just enough to drink himself to death.” How easy it was for him to wash his hands. The Mort maelstrom was not threatening him.
Mort was angry and desperate for money. Not money to start a new life and find a place to live (that was never mentioned), it was going to be drunk, snorted and abused (this wasn’t mentioned either but we all knew it). He was drip-fed money from our savings with regular weekly instalments into his bank account. We viewed this money as a temporary gate, a barrier. We hoped it was a barrier of steel but it felt like straw. As long as the money kept coming he seemed to stay away, physically at least, the phone calls on the other hand were relentless.
During this time Mort started targeting more people to rant at. He called his old employer and told them that he had enjoyed a nice holiday, was back at home with his family and was ready to start work. When the reply was clearly wary befuddlement he became aggressive and hurled abuse. He called them 10-15 times a day for a week. That doesn’t mean that we had a week of peace, his crazy just grew extra tentacles.