Every once in a while, in lieu of new content to keep you occupied and knowing that no one except full-fledged stalkers goes through my blog as far back as a few months, I like to hop in the Way Back Machine.
I’ve lived in my current home about 18 years, which is a long time for most apartment tenants. We like where we are, it’s enough for the two of us, and the landlord’s family likes us. Because we’ve been there a long time, we’ve had a menagerie of neighbors, some timid and docile like the Prairie Dogs, others loud and needing to be put down, like rabid Prairie Dogs.
Boozy McDrinkerton (not her real name) was one of our late landlord’s strays, someone he would take in because they needed taking care of. She was an alcoholic, and when I say that, I don’t means someone who likes to drink. I mean someone whose blood-alcohol content never dips below .35.
This is the story breaking points and burned bridges. This also puts me in the spotlight of Not Nice, which is fine because folks, I’m really not nice.
Cleaned up here a little for content, clarity and silly errors, from Thursday, July 10th, 2008, Boozy McDrinkerton and the Last Call:
So rumor has it from unnamed sources that she’s leaving.
I cannot say I will miss her OR the smell of stale cigarette smoke that seems to seep like a fetid fog from beneath her front door. She’s burned her bridges with everyone around her in this neck of the woods so she’s Fate’s problem now.
Lemme tell you about a few weekends back when I’d officially HAD ENOUGH.
It was a Saturday and I had to work the Lush Swing Party. In fact, when I finally had a chance to walk out the door, Boozy was standing there wearing a shirt she’d pulled from my clean laundry, all buttoned up, wearing one of my ties. She was also drunk. Not exactly out of the ordinary as she’s gone on binges where being sober was like getting the hiccups — short-lived and barely memorable.
“Boozy is wearing your shirt”, says D from the hallway. He’d left earlier to go to the store to get breakfast fixings and she wanted to tag along. As she was barely dressed, he gave her somehing of mine to wear, and then took her to a store we’d never step foot into just so he wouldn’t run into someone we knew.
“I see that,” I say trying not to sound like I’m about to kill her. I’m too rushed for that, so I just grab my things and hit the door. I had errands to run before work. I don’t like her. I don’t like the way she coos his name or tells him how nice he is or how lucky I am.
I return about an hour and a half later and D comes down the driveway. He said he’d have breakfast when I got back from my errands, but he hadn’t gotten quite that far in his day. He gives me a huge hug and I smell beer. Keep in mind, it’s about 11:30 in the morning and D isn’t a drinker.
“Boozy wanted beer so I broke down and bought a six-pack but don’t worry: I drank four of them.” Way to take one for the team, baby. It was cheap, watery beer, he tells me, and I could see that he was proud of himself for giving in but only a little bit. “I’m going to start breakfast now.” He stumbled into the house. D has a big heart and he hates telling people no if he can help it. Considering he was going to be stuck at home with her all day it’s easy to see why he’d want her placated. Frankly, I like a pouty Boozy. Pouty Boozy is quiet and keeps to herself, not animated, not cycling phrases and thoughts every five minutes because her short-term memory is in the middle of a pertpetual happy hour.
Breakfast gets made without D slicing off a finger and he tells me, offhanded and casual, that he’s invited Boozy over. She has to work later in the day and he wants to put food in her belly. That way she can eat, sober up and get gone so he can get some work around the house. He goes next door to fetch her and she claims she’ll be right over. D and I ate breakfast in peace and conversed about stuff. Luckily we didn’t hold breakfast because it took her another twenty minutes to make an appearance. D serves her while I retreat to the bedroom to watch Farscape. I’ve already seen the episode but it looks like I’m busy working and she won’t bug me. I’m anti-social by nature but I leave the door open so I can keep an eye on things and not leave her totally alone. I hear her phone ring and she answers.
Now — if you’ve been invited to breakfast and get a phone call, you let your calling party know that you’re eating and you’ll call back. Not Boozy. She spent the entire time eating on the phone. I peek out already shocked that she’s given to ignoring her host and notice she’s got her filthy foot on my dining room table. I walk over and give it a smack. Not playful, not cute. I say, “Off” and go back to the bedroom. She wants to act like ill-mannered dog, I’m happy to treat her like one. She may have cooed something hurt, but I didn’t hear it or didn’t care to remember that I heard it.
She finally gets off the phone and instead of leaving, she hangs out in the kitchen while D cleans up. She’s lonely, I get it, but she’s also clingy. I have my headphones on so I don’t hear the conversation but I can hear just over the sound of my show that high, whiny baby voice she uses cutting through the soundtrack of my show. D tells me later that she spent time pawing through the medications we have on the counter. Not having kids, we can leave our drugs all over the place — hell, keep them in a candy dish on the coffee table if we want. She of course asks what each drug is, though they are clearly labeled. My heart meds, full-strength ibuprofen, etc… When she got to the Percocet and Oxy, she wanted to know if they could take one. They meaning her and him. A pharm party at 12:30 p.m. What fun.
Had I heard that, I would have put her out then and there.
D tells her that they are for his back and his back doesn’t hurt right now. It really is like talking to a 4 year old. The Perc/Oxy combo were actually for my teeth when the Vicodin failed me and made me go blind, but that wouldn’t have registered with her. “But just one,” she pleads, and he has to take the bottle away from and put it in his pocket. It was at that point that he decided that she needed to go home so he can finish, so he led her to the front door, put her on the other side of it, and closed it. He even waved.
The rest of this comes from D, who retold the story with the kind of broken awe you sometimes hear in small children who’ve tried to save kittens only to find them run over in the road.
An hour l later I left for work and maybe twenty minutes after that, he heard Boozy leave her apartment. D proceeded to do housework. Laundry, dishes, general picking up. I married well, yes and thank you. He crashed on the couch with the front door open, because he had a load in the wash and he likes to air out the place while he cleans. A knock drew him from his nap, and Boozy was there, more drunk than she’d been that morning. Apparently, she’d started off to work and was detoured by an open liquor store. Having no money she “bartered” for smokes and booze (“bartered” meaning she and the clerk “took a little ride”). After procuring her booze, she called work and told them that she wasn’t coming in because she was too drunk. “Isn’t that responsible of me” she asked D. He asked her to please close the door behind her when she left because he was too busy to hang with her.
The purpose of making her breakfast was so that she could sober up and go to work, not find creative ways to get drunk again. D tells me this with great exasperation. He had finally HAD ENOUGH. I welcomed him into the club with open arms and the secret handshake. When the landlord heard, probably because he was the one who’d gotten her that job and the manager called him to complain, he’d also HAD ENOUGH. He didn’t get the handshake but we did spend some time discussing what a bad girl she’d been.
It’s called burning your bridges and then pissing on the ashes. She was once overheard claiming that she could get whatever she wanted because she could manipulate people. Not us. Not anymore. I didn’t want to make friends in the first place but the landlord had asked me to be nice because Boozy was having a “rough time”. She creates her own drama and compounds her own problems. She’s supposedly moving in with a guy we’ve called the cops on many times. He’ll probably kill her. I’ll read about it in the paper, probably blog about it, and my life will go on.
Some losses aren’t a loss but a gain. We get back our time, our peace of mind that she’s not bringing some random guy over for smokes and booze or to help supplement her rent. There won’t be some panicked knocking at our door at Ass O’clock in the morning because a guy is beating on her only to hear her tell the cops she didn’t ask for help and someone is just being nosy.
So that’s Boozy McDrinkerton’s story, aka Drinkie McBoozed. In a few weeks, she’ll become some other neighborhood’s problem.
To this day, I don’t know where she is or who she’s with or if she’s even alive.