Sunday, November 7, 2010

View from the Bottom

Whilst barreling down the road to Empty, I decided to get back in touch with the guy I dated in 2003-4 and ask him to repay the money he borrowed from me six years ago.

He'd called me on a day I was home from work after minor surgery - not to check on me, but short on cash, and desperate to buy his son's school supplies. So in my nightgown, doubled over in pain, I shuffled over to my secret hiding space and extracted my $200 cash emergency fund. I was too weak and in pain to go to the ATM for more. He said he supposed it would be enough.

A month or so later, he called me at work to tell me he'd been locked out of his apartment - not evicted, but barred from entry until he paid his rent. He and his two dogs were homeless, crashing on someone's couch, leaving nowhere for his kids to visit him.

When I found out that paying one month's worth would get him back in, I offered to pay the $1300. I had it. I helped because I could help. I didn't expect him to pay me back, but I hoped that one day he would, or that he would try.

Nearly six years after his cheating on me (or cheating on someone else with me, I'm still not sure) broke us up, I hadn't heard a peep.

It was the last thing I wanted to do, but I reluctantly got back in touch, because that $1500 could really help me out now. Now I'm the one that needs help.

Here was his initial response (reprinted exactly with all errors included):
hi
thanks for bringing this up cause i did in fact forget all about it.alot has happened in 6 yrs.
without going into detail of my finances , i dont have it and probably wont until the new yr.
sorry things just r not steady
but at least now i know and will be at the top of my to do list
How do you forget a thing like someone paying your rent? I was shocked. I could only reply briefly, politely, "OK, thanks for letting me know."

It wasn't surprising that he said no. As a DJ, record producer, and actor, his income has never been steady, and whatever he does make, he probably spends on partying. Or Jets tickets.

But even if he had $100 or $200, and only repaid me that and nothing ever again, it would help my situation. So after a month of driving with the fuel gauge pointing to E, I emailed him again, asking for anything he could give, like the pledge drive hosts on public television. Even the smallest donation could make a world of difference.

Here was his next response (again, with errors included):
Without going into anything deep. Me and my children r at my momz
apt if that gives u a clue. E other peeps and yourself I owe and will
pay when I have. I ahavnt fogotten and rminders help but then they don't.
I have it on my mind. K?
I didn't respond.

This guy is in his mid-40s. His kids are old enough now to be in college (and used to, at least, primarily stay with their mother). If my experience dating him didn't, this correspondence has shown me that he is a lost cause. He is never growing up. He is an unfit mate. And he is undeserving of my kindness and generosity.

But what's done is done. I've accepted the fact that he will never pay me back. I don't regret giving him the money, because I was in a position where I was able to help someone who was desperate. What I regret is giving him the love that he would never reciprocate. He was most undeserving of that.

If I am at rock bottom, he has managed to position himself even farther down than that. But what's below the bottom?

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