Made of three parts sociopathic charm (to which I was still embarrassingly-susceptible) and one part dimples, I drank the Keith Koolaid and fell back into friendly relations with him after the Tinder incident.
For several days, we cooked and ate dinner together, talked about our days, and hung out in the evenings–BFF style–before retiring to separate rooms with a goodnight hug.
I thought we might really make it out of the whole mess as actual friends.
I was adorably naive.
Unhealthy people become bored when their lives lack chaos, so during the second week, Keith manufactured some by kicking his normal alcohol abuse into high gear and becoming a real fucking twat.
He started returning home from work every night with a fresh bottle of high-proof rum, which he drank most of in the hours between dinner and the time he’d reliably pass out later that evening.
In between, he’d become progressively more insufferable–stomping around; knocking things over; telling me that he had never even thought about proposing and had never wanted to marry me and I was a fool to have believed otherwise; threatening to ruin the kids’ Christmas by telling them about the breakup before the holiday, etc. — until he was a slurring, crying, incoherent mess on the couch.
I’d argue for a while, but eventually, disgusted, I’d leave him and hide in my bedroom.
When it was safe to assume he was passed out, I’d emerge, still compelled to clean up after him and make sure he got to into bed and set his alarm for work the next morning. I’d find him in a heap on the couch, frozen in time to whenever his body had finally had enough: sitting upright, holding a drink in one hand, a video game controller in the other, his head hung so far to one side that I thought maybe the Universe had done us both a favor and broken his neck.
But no so such luck.
I was always able to shake him semi-awake and tell him to go the fuck to bed.
Since the break up–except when the kids were with us and we were forced go m back mywhen the kids weren’t werith us– his bed had been his 4-year-old daughter’s pink unicorn bed.
His stay in her room had been unremarkable until the bender started. Then, like everything else, it got gross.
Because he got into her bed absolutely obliterated every night, Keith lost all sense of decency on top of his natural indifference to all other humans and I started waking up every morning to find empty booze bottles, dirty plates, food wrappers and, most horrifyingly, dried cum rags on the floor next to her tiny, pink bed. I felt physically ill.
WHY, I implored him, would he disrespect his daughter and her space like that? Couldn’t he jerk off in the shower for fucks sake???
He feigned outage and pretended I was calling him a child molester for choosing to sleep in her bed (to be clear, she wasn’t in our home at theinstead of a thoughtless asshole. And he huffed and puffed for a while about what a wonderful father he was.
Ultimately, “I’m going to wash the sheets!” was the best he could come up with.
We continued this beautiful dance–he pickled in rum himself all evening and rallied at night to jerk off and I hated him and removed crispy wash cloths and other garbage and made his daughter’s bed every morning– until he finally stopped drinking toward the end of the month.
By then, we were down to our last 10 days together and with the strength of a clear mind, Keith made sure they were highly memorable for me.