And, when loved ones are affected, you show the support the best way you can.
When the weakness becomes a habit, things can get very complicated. And when the habits ... these addictions ... take root, we enter a different world.
Tuesday evening, this hit home.
You see, the Wife has an addiction. And had to have a fix.
We car pool, since we work just a couple of blocks from each other. And when I got off work, I drove over to her workplace to pick her up.
She got into the car as usual, but something seemed ... different. I couldn't put my finger on it, and let it drop.
Then, her phone rang.
All I heard was her end of the conversation. But it was enough to let me know that something out of the ordinary was going on.
"Yeah. Hey. You got it? (pause) By where? (to me:) You know where the Rothschild Building is? (I wasn't sure.) (to the caller:) Yeah, I think so. Is that 12th Street? (pause) 11th Street? Yeah, we're close. (pause) We'll be by there in a minute." (hangs up)
Yes, it was quite clear to me. My Wife has an addiction. And she was making a buy.
What was I to do? Go along? Do nothing?
I was driving, so doing nothing wasn't possible. I had to either help her make her buy ... or hinder her from making her buy.
In the end, I decided to not confront, but to go along.
We made a couple of turns and were on 11th street. Since it's a one-way street, and since I wasn't certain which building was the Rothschild Building, I wasn't sure that we hadn't passed it.
We drove in circles for a little bit, turning and heading down 10th (another one-way) to the end near the river, then heading back to 11th, to begin the circuit again.
Nervous that she was going to miss her supplier, she opened her cell phone and looked up the last incoming call. She hit "redial" and tried to call her source. It rolled to voice-mail.
Now, she was concerned that she not going to make the transaction. She called again. Voice-mail again.
She had me pull into a parking space, then jumped out and walked up and down a section of 11th Street, hoping to spot her contact. No luck.
She got back into the car and took a deep breath. Then, her phone rang. It was her supplier.
"Hey. Yes. What block are you on? (pause) Where is that? 10th Street? What street are you facing? (to me:) She's on 11th, looking at the Rothschild Building. (to the caller:) What are you wearing? What color pants? (pause) Yeah, we're moving now. We're crossing 3rd Avenue. (pause) Okay, I see you. We'll be there in just a second." (hangs up)
She pointed her contact out to me. I saw her. She told me to move over to the far left-hand lane. I did.
We approached the contact, pulling into an empty parking space.
The contact approached the car, with her merchandise in her hands.
The Wife had me roll down my window.
The supplier bent down, and handed the package to me. I handed it over to the Wife, and the transaction was completed.
They exchanged a few words, discussing meeting again in the future, then the deal was done.
We drove away as the Wife examined her buy. I didn't say much.
When we got home ... no, going to the baseball game wasn't in the cards that night ... the Wife took her stash inside, then went to where she needed to be to ... enjoy it.
I let her have her indulgence of her habit. I hope it was the right thing to do.
But I knew that I had crossed a line that night that I never imagined I would cross.
I had helped my Wife make a buy on the streets of Columbus. It was the first time I had ever participated in a street buy of ... a goldfish.
My life will never be the same.