April 8, 2020:

I drove through the town where we used to live. Past the thrift stores where you'd shop; past the pawn shops where you'd sell the guitars you'd steal from me. Past the apartment I rented for you where I'd find you passed out on the floor day after day, and leave you take-out.

The very first time I visited your apartment I was worried because you weren't returning calls. I found your door open with the keys in the lock. You were face-down, partly on the floor, partly on the air mattress you'd borrowed from me. There was food and vomit and empty alcohol bottles scattered like an explosion, on the floor, the tables, ground into the rug. I took your key from the door, locked up behind me, made a copy at the hardware store without telling you. From that day for months I'd unlock your door to look in after you; and to leave take-out on your table. I have no idea where you imagined that came from. Maybe you believed you'd bought it before blacking out. It was me.

Eventually I convinced you to move back to my house. On condition that there be no alcohol: which I had the right to enforce by following you everywhere. You achieved eight months sober, your longest period ever, while I guarded you at the grocery store and the thrift store and the doctor's office. All through that time we waited for your immigration to clear. Overseas, where your husband would look after you.

I think I would like the town if it weren't for us.