There have been strangers in my house, off and on for a year or so. They come in looking like my husband. They walk like him, bippity bopp from the street, they talk like him...no hint of a Texas accent. They even smell like him, yet somehow...they are not quite him.
The first stranger came late last summer and by the time fall came, he had taken over my husband. The drinking and anger was a far cry from the man I had met back in 1994. His words were like fire, torching everyone who dared glance his way. His eyes were now an ice blue, as I am sure it was because his heart was turning cold. Who was this man? Who was this person in bed with me?
He eventually saw something in himself he did not agree with...and decided to drop the bottle..err can. I was afraid it was too late, and wanted nothing more than to disappear from the memories we had made together, well except the children of course. His mind had him spinning, speculating and not trusting. His body wanted a drink, and the end seemed inevitable. Soon after he realized he could not go on much more and I took this stranger to a place, a place where only people who have no grasp on reality go. It was a Sunday in November and not quite cold yet. My whole self was agitated and my heart was sinking. The fall leaves were scattered on the campus of this hospital. We tried to pretend everything was nice, we even took pictures. I occupied my mind is meaningless text and really just wanted to sink into a bowl of self pity. Poor me, living with a person I did not know. When really, it was not about me. It was about this stranger wearing my husbands skin. A stranger saying mean things and accusing everyone of things we had not even thought of.
By the time I was able to leave, I stood on the other side, of secure glass doors wanted to yell "Just come home." I didn't though, again this was for him not me. The long drive home was hard to handle. The sun was going down and the beautiful scenery of back roads, was not enough to warm my heart. I was going home to five kids, and a cold bed.
He was only there a few short days, and I longed for phone calls. I longed for something.....something that was not so strange.