Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Love Makes Fools Of Us All

But it makes bigger fools of some than others.

So, here I sit at the kitchen table drinking my tea. It's my ninth whole day here and so far, well it's been mostly shit.

We started out alright. The first day when I arrived all was good. He was sober, we had a lovely dinner, and then things started to go downhill. He had a bottle of something that first night and slept most of Monday, although we did talk for periods and he fixed me stuff to eat. Then Tuesday all seemed to be looking up. We got on the bus and rode to the police station to register my visa and we were like a couple of teenagers. We stood next to each other on the bus and it was a bumpy ride so I put my hand behind me on the bar and his hand was there so we secretly held hands, so to speak. The way he looked at me, the way he lead me around...it was perfect. But then I didn't have my insurance information with me and we had to leave and would have to go back to the police station by Thursday.

It was terrible rainy weather and he prefers to walk, but he's much faster than I am so it took us forever, it was very unpleasant, and he grumbled a little. Finally, we got to the bank and I paid the registration fee and then he said we should go to ZAGs, the office for applying for marriage, but my feet hurt, I was tired cold and wet and I really wanted to get my phone working so I could text mom and everyone back home. So, we decided that we'd do ZAGs the next day, as we had to come back anyway.

This is where I should have known better. As we were walking we came to a store that sells Kristall, a high quality brand of vodka made here in Belarus. He said he wanted to get some for me to try. I said I don't think that's a good idea. I said I'm afraid the same thing as last time will happen. Of course he said it wouldn't. Did I know better, yes. I thought, ok, it will be a little test. So we went in, got vodka, and I got some champagne to drink because I love Soviet Champagne. Then we went to MTS so I could take care of my phone and he went out to smoke.

Warning bells were going off!!

Somewhere in the back of my mind I thought, he's out there taking a swig. I came out, we went next door to a store that sells clothing and suits made here in Dzerszhinsk and looked at a suit for him. I thought he was acting a little strange. When we left he said that weren't any more buses and that it was a long walk so we should get a taxi.

We walked over to the taxi stand and I noticed he wasn't walking in a straight line. When we got home, I looked in the bag and sure enough a bottle was missing. I asked where did the bottle go, and he looked at me as if I were stupid and said there was no other bottle, he didn't know anything about it, it wasn't his fault. In that moment I understood that yes, it was gonna be like last time. Offended, he went off to sleep.

Later he of course wanted more and ended up drinking at least half of my champagne. All day Wednesday he was pretty much asleep and I said to him at some point that I had to go finish my registration and that I really needed him to get his shit together. Thursday, I finally got him out of bed and I could tell that he was pretty hungover but at least he was out and we were getting stuff done. On the bus, he said that he had to get off and go help a friend who was an invalid and he'd meet me there. I kind of panicked and thought I hope I can figure out where to get off!

Well, I got the police station ok and waited. And waited. And waited. I only have internet on my phone so I couldn't call him but I could still text like I do normally through Skype, which as it turns out would be pointless. After an hour, the man who we had seen about the registration came out and asked if I had gotten registered and I said no that I was waiting for my friend. He motioned me to come in because they had a short work day and technically were off the clock in ten minutes. He tried calling Alex and all we got was a busy signal. I explained to him that we had gotten on the bus together, that he had gotten off to help a friend and that we were supposed to meet the station.

All we were missing was Alex's signature. Sigh. So we went outside to see if we could see him and the man, Sergei Anatolievich, asked me if I knew how to get home. I said no. He said do you have money and I said yes. He asked If I knew the address and I said yes.He said, come on, I'm leaving anyway, I'll drive you home. Then he said do you have a key and I said no, but his mother lives not far from him, I can go there. He said ok, took me out to the car, opened the door for me, talked to me the whole drive and told me not to be upset, everything will be ok. I wanted to cry just because I couldn't believe how kind he was.

Well, Nina was a bit surprised when we showed up at her house but she took me in and fed me, gave me her key and sent me on my way. When I got back they was in the outside of the door and Alex was lying there on the little sofa inside the entryway, dunk.

I was livid.

Since then he has continued drinking. I know he hates that he has hurt me, but the urge to drink overpowers any desire to not hurt me. Mom has been urging me to change my ticket and come back home, but then a few days ago I got a cold, and now have an ear infection. I don't really want to try flying internationally with an ear infection and cold, and by this point we're looking at probably upwards of at least $1000 to change my ticket.

Sadly, I have gone from hope we can salvage some time together to not caring as long as he leaves me alone and I can rest.

And that, in the immortal words of Paul Harvey, is the rest of the story.

Did I handle everything right? I'm sure not, if there is a right way to handle such things. Am I done with him? I don't know. Now I know that some reading this will be like, what the heck, just dump him, but sometimes it's just not that easy to actually do.

Of two things I am sure, that I love him and that he loves me. Whether the Beatles were right or not, remains to be seen.

Oh, and yesterday when Nina went with me to finish my registration, Sergei Anatolievich drove us most of the way home. There are kind people in the world.

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