It is a truth universally acknowledged, that whenever one area of your life starts to go well, another will fall spectacularly apart.
The Edge of Reason, Helen Fielding
I am stunned. Stopped in my tracks and unsure of myself. As I was arranging filming with See, Hear, teaching, finding new confidence in my colleagues desire to work with me, and in that of others to hear about my research, life at home was coming to pieces. My housemate was under arrest.
On one hand, this wasn’t entirely unexpected. Having experimented with drugs since being a teenager, the police finding said drugs (which, when we moved in together, I refused to be told anything about, following this happening six years ago) was a possibility, if not an inevitability.
Given the above, my housemate being arrested for drugs did not entirely surprise me. Finding the drugs, though, that was accidental, coincidental. Coincidental on his arrest for other crimes that I knew nothing, guessed nothing, would not in a thousand years have guessed anything, about. It is these crimes that mean he will not be able to continue training in any medical profession. They mean that he is bailed for six months, pending investigation. That our tenancy is under threat, if (and for non-drug crimes, when) the landlord is informed. That his former friends, some of whom were also arrested, as the crimes were traced to their address, could come to the door and attack him.
Life has turned upside down.
I am, in some sense, fortunate. The crimes were not traced directly to our address. When the drugs were found, he admitted that they were his. I was not put under arrest, am not under suspicion, will not lose my career. I could argue a case with the landlord for not letting me go. But, so what if the landlord keeps me (and the cat) on. I cannot afford the rent without a housemate, beyond June. I do not wish to return to living with nobody. As they find out, people will judge me for staying in the house, for not throwing him out. I don’t want to throw him out. It is devastating to see my housemate so, so low. In pieces, unsure of himself, speaking in whispers. I want to see him – to help him where I can – come through this, to a different “normal”.
I don’t feel that I am doing enough. At the same time, I know, that I cannot do the constructive things for him. He has to do them himself. I am thinking too much of the future, and not of the next few weeks. And worried that he will have hurt himself when I go home today. My mind is a whirr of concern, of paradox, or inadequacy.
God knows what the future will hold for him. God give me the strength to bear this burden with him. To be of use to him, and to look after myself. So help me, God.