|Early electric vacuum cleaner by Electric Suction Sweeper Company, circa 1908, predecessor of Hoover vacuum cleaner (1922). Exhibit in National Museum of American History, Washington, DC, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
And then, I couldn't wait. I couldn't, absolutely could NOT, be "with him" to ring in the New Year as part of a couple, when I was all but chewing my own leg off to be completely free. So, I made an official break with him, in between Christmas and before New Year's, though we have "stayed friends," and I have seen him from time to time.
And he is... not, miraculously, cured. He is always on his best behavior when we meet or speak, and hoovers as best he can. He tells me he loves me, he thinks of me every day, misses me, blah blah, and yet
- He has not made a move to get of any of the items that cluttered our home and garage. In fact, the hoard has increased in the room that had been our shared office.
- He has not "had time" to set up the computer I gave him over two years ago when his old one was failing. (He has no real day job, and he used to work on computers for a living, so it's not beyond his skillset.)
- He is very proud of his anorectic "discipline" in losing weight and fitting into his older jeans. (He was 160 lbs on a 6'1" frame - he looks to have lost at least 10-15 lbs. And he's critical of me because I have gone in the opposite direction.)
- He continues in monologue "loops" repeating the same thing 3-5 times in the course of several minutes. Much of what I say to him doesn't "stick" in his memory till the next time we talk, and his "conversation" is more a kind of verbal diarrhea/loosing the floodgates. There is no interrupting, changing the subject, or squeezing a word in edgewise until he's talked himself out.
- I don't know if he is drinking to excess all the time, but he seems to do it quite a bit before he calls me, or on the rare occasions we've visited together. Doesn't help the monologuing.
He's made various attempts to control me, to no avail. For instance, there was a family event to which we were both invited, in September. (One of the reasons I can't entirely cut him out of my life, he has a decades-long friendship with several members of my family.) He called to ask if I could give him a ride to/from the event (in theory, so he could save on gas, but actually, so he could drink). I said I would, but as part of the event included a religious ceremony beforehand, I would need to pick him up at XX time.
Well, he didn't want to go to the religious ceremony. It would be too hot, he whined. (This was three weeks before the event.) I said, yep, it's hot right now, it could very well still be hot then, or it might not, but I was going to the religious ceremony, so if he wanted to ride with me, he'd have to deal with it. Or we could see if another family member could give him a ride, and I could give him a ride home afterwards. Then he got all snippy about how he was perfectly capable of getting there by himself and didn't need a ride from me. I think he thought I'd apologize for offending him, as I would've done, back in the day, but I just said, "Okay, whatever."
At the event, he fastened himself to my side like a barnacle. Which was fine; it was a very noisy venue, and it wasn't like I was planning to pick up a date or engage in serious conversation there anyway. Then he left in somewhat of a tiff because he got offended at something or I wasn't paying him enough attention, who knows?! I think he was simply overwhelmed - by the crowd, by the noise - and because he was driving, he wasn't able to drink enough to quell his anxiety.
I had him over for drinks on Thanksgiving - but did not ask him to stay for dinner, and declined his invitation to come to his place (our old place) for dinner, but did go see him last weekend, though NOT on Christmas itself nor Christmas Eve.
Oh, hilarious, I showed him a recent picture of one of my sisters, who he knows, and he thought she looked "scary" because she was wearing "too much makeup." (Trust me, she wasn't, and even if she was, he thought saying that would endear him to me?)
On TV, because he always has the TV on, he had on some surfing documentary (he surfed as a teen, before he decided he hated the beach because it has icky sand and salt water). Primed by that, he engaged in his lecture mode which I remember so well. Obviously, he'd seen the program before - perhaps several times. He would parrot the points the narrator had either just made or was about to make, seemingly unaware that he wasn't bringing anything new to the table. He used to do this several times a week when I was living with him, and it drove me crazy. Now I find it pitiful and only slightly annoying, though I also know I could NEVER stand a steady diet of it again.
I noticed the sofa and chair are now entirely covered by towels and blankets, so as to keep the material from getting soiled. He kept offering me food and drinks, trying to press me to drink something more, something more even though I declined.
|War Horse (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
It's so sad, all in all. I know he is bitterly lonely. All these things are his efforts to connect; he just doesn't have in him a way to connect that is real and honest and interesting. At the risk of being rude, I will say it - he BORES me now. His old man crochets and his whining fussiness and his monologuing and his nervous chain smoking...
Yuck, I came home and couldn't get my clothes off fast enough, as despite the many smokeless ashtrays and air cleaners my clothes smelled like an ashtray.
The single, part-time job he has - being property manager of his little house, and one up front - has now thrown him for a tizzy because he may have to find new renters for the front house. Which means he might have to go online (he's kept subscriptions to all the movie channels, but not for internet access, because I paid for that, and he can't afford the expense. *snort*) I suggested that he get internet access, or go online through his best buddy, or at the library. (In other words, don't look at me, dude.)
He tried all the rehearsed moves he had made decades before, the husky whispers, the "I'm still so in love with you," and they left me cold. His lips have apologized many times for hurting me - but he never really understood how and why he hurt me, and he still doesn't. The last time I tried to discuss one of the more egregious instances, he insisted that "in an emergency situation" ( a hot water pipe had burst) he was entitled to scream obscenities at me (for not mopping the floor fast enough). While I held to the bizarre notion that even in a true, life-threatening emergency - which that was not - neither of us had the right to scream obscenities at one another, but were still obligated to treat each other with dignity and respect, even if we got excited and raised our voices.
Of course, he has no intention of getting professional help for body or mind. Doesn't need it; can't afford it.
Although he is showing few signs of the explosive anger that used to frighten me back in the day, I'm not convinced it's gone. He cried over the Sandy Hook massacre, but I'm not entirely sure he won't "suicide by cop" someday, or decide to punish me for humiliating him via this blog, or when I begin dating again. I don't expect it, I have no grounds to report him as an imminent threat to me or himself, but it wouldn't surprise me. Like the guy who just ambushed the firefighters in Webster, New York, my ex is not in his right mind, AND he has a cache of several weapons and plenty of ammo. So, I will be careful, and continue to keep contact between us to the minimum, with no false promises or hints of reconciliation on my end.
I can and do pity the man, but the Hoover has lost all suction for me.