Yesterday took a turn that I could not have ever predicted. I was solid. Good even. My weekend had been a mentally peaceful one. So many concepts that I have been struggling to grasp in my head and thought processes actually came easier this weekend. I went into Monday knowing it had the potential to be a bit of a wacky day, only as my scheduling was mixed up a bit, but nothing I couldn't handle. In fact, I felt for a moment, I could handle being a single working mom.
Then, everything got turned upside down. Chris came into the bike shop. He came in drunk. This I could live with. Although we have been speaking of late, most of his barriers have remained firmly in tact. I figured, in that moment, that had not changed. But it had.
After a period of time, he came to talk to me in the office, alone. The office where I fell in love with him. The office where he had attempted 3 years ago to let me into his tortured existence. He came back into the office to let me in again.
This time, I am so much stronger.
This time, there was an unveiled cry for help from him.
This time I do not know how to help except to listen and love.
This time I have boundaries and know how to keep them.
This time I am clear about my priorities.
In the end, I watched literally a room full of people who know Chris side step him. I get that he was drunk. I get that it is uncomfortable. Yet none of them offered any basic assistance. He needed to get home. I made sure that he got home. I would not let him get into a car and drive in this state. Same goes for a bike. Yet nobody moved to stop him, except me. To my knowledge there was only one person in the crowd who had justification to walk away, and it is not mine to discuss.
After I dropped him home, I came back to the shop. People started giving me a hard time in lieu of Chris. I turned to them and said, I step up when a friend is in need. And yes. HE IS MY FRIEND. Good, bad, sober, drunk. They then changed their tune, telling me that I am a better person than them. I wasn't looking for accolades. I really didn't want any comments, good or bad.
I know that I can't cure what ails him. But I can make sure that he doesn't hurt himself or an innocent in the process of trying to figure out how to help himself. I am remarkably angry at this lack of concern for somebody in our community. Or even the greater good of the community and not having somebody drunk in control of a vehicle. Being angry or harsh words do no good in that moment. They are to be for another time. That moment was clear. Safety for the individual and others.
It wasn't easy. It wasn't perfect. It definitely isn't pretty. Chris can be hard, abrasive, challenging and yes, even cruel at times. I have been lucky to see the beauty that lives there too. Does all of this mean that I turn my back on him, in that moment, when he said he wants help? I do not know if anything will come of a single moment when somebody says they want help. Maybe, he just needed to tell somebody who will remember. I also have to grasp the concept that there maybe no deeper meaning to his statements. I have no way to control or predict how this will turn out. I can't always be there to take Chris home when he gets drunk. I can only hope this person whom I have loved and in many ways still love figures out how to set himself free.