After the most fucked-up day of my life, I just got home from the hospital.
Preparing to leave for work this morning and Joe was laying on the couch as per usual, he was snoring hard, moaning, and gurgling – Nothing out of the ordinary. I took a picture, and proceeded to get ready for work. As I was leaving I realized that he looked like shit, and made some off-handed comment to the effect of: “If you puke on the couch, I’ll fucking shoot you” – or something like that.
Really it was a fairly light day at work, but I had several meetings that kept me there until five. We had planned on going out tonight, but Jes’s dog was attacked at the dog park earlier this week. Jes decided to take the night off and tend to Rocco, so The Girl and I decided to just head home and watch a few movies.
I get home around 5:30 and Joe’s still on the couch. He had wet himself. I fly off the handle with rage and start screaming at him. He’s going to get fired from another shit job for getting blind stinking drunk and sleeping until nightfall, plus he fucking ruined my couch. He’s not waking up, which makes me even angrier, so I run up and kick him to get him off the couch. He doesn’t move. I shake him. He doesn’t move. It sinks in – He’s dead.
Lost in my mind, I automatically dialed 911 and tried to explain my situation. Within a few minutes the ambulance was there, just as The Girl was getting back from work. The police came too. The cops spent about an hour talking to us (1/2 of that hour was spent going over the paperwork for all of the guns in the house) and taking pictures of the living room – even the full ashtray, and the empty 1.75 of Wild Turkey.
Fire trucks were arriving (for some reason) as I went with the police to the hospital down the street. They kept asking me questions while the preliminary results of the blood test came back. They even made me go to a computer and show them the Drinky Joe MSN page – they weren’t amused. I felt like a total dick.
Once the test came back Joe had a blood alcohol level of .78, over 50% more than the median lethal amount. Cause of death: Acute Alcohol Poisoning.
Or maybe the police and the doctors were right, and the cause of death is my fault for allowing his destructive behavior (and maybe I’m just rationalizing things when I say that I did the Drinky Joe site to bring attention to said behaviors).
Logically, it’s Joe’s parents’ fault for never instilling in him a sense of personal responsibility.
Some would say it’s his ex-girlfriend’s fault for driving him into alcoholic overload.
Definitely it’s society’s fault for glamorizing alcohol.
Absolutely not, the above excuses are bullshit.
It’s Joe’s fault for being a lousy drunk who drank himself to death. He was 30 years old. He woke up every morning with the sickly-sweet odour of ketosis on his breath, his eyes were turning yellow, and his teeth were rotting away. Back in ’98 my roommate (Croft) lost his arm to compartment syndrome after a month-long bender. I didn’t feel sorry then, and I’m not going to feel sorry now. What happened tonight was only a matter of time.
You know that Joe realized what was coming. He embraced it.