I watch my love in his slow descent. I observe as the twinkle in his green eyes fades. The marks appear on his smooth tan skin and his eyes hollow. His skin becomes a pallid pale color, reminding me of sickness. The behaviors change too. The shifting eye gaze, infinite to do lists, sleepless nights, leaving for hours at a time, long love notes left in the kitchen for me in the morning, repetitive singing, the crumpled and colorful candy wrappers, knuckle cracking, the manipulation, the dark ashen fingers, and the mania, oh man the mania. I inhabit a home with a stranger. I feel I have no control. It is the scariest damn thing.
During his descent, I hold tightly to a life line: our love filled past. Then the images come, bleeding into each other. These are beautiful black and white photos capturing a bittersweet history. Our history, one filled with romance, hope, and whimsy. Sailboat excursions in the Bay, camping under the stars in Santa Barbara, cabanas in Tulum, floating down rivers in inner tubes, riding our beach cruisers on the boardwalk, lighting fires on chilly nights in our wood burning stove, finding and falling in love with our new kittens, hotel rooms in LA, making love in the shower, finding and falling in love with our Chihuahua puppy, our wedding day, movies in bed on rainy days. My husband and I inhabit these images, immortal versions of ourselves. From the shadow of the present I beckon to these versions of us, hoping to bring them back, and bring us back to life. In my mind I say to my husband: “come back to me my love”.
Check out this post on the Huffington Post about knowing the signs of addiction. I know I missed them at the start and I am working on forgiving myself for that.