We were seven months in. It was the first Christmas, but we didn’t spend it together. I was going home and Donkey was going to his brother’s house in Miami. His brother, I’ll call him Mule, lives in a Homeowners Association neighborhood and was on the verge of a fine for the crap condition of his backyard fence.
In the time I was around this family, Mule received several notices on the condition of his yard: the fence, the flag, the basketball hoop, and the swing set. He chose to live in a Homeowners Association neighborhood, and he complained about their insistence that he conform to their conditions with every demand to improve his exterior appearance.
Mule couldn’t do the work alone and his sons, 12 & 8 at the time, were considered too young to help with the manual labor of removing the rotted section, digging new post holes, and putting up the new fence, so he asked Donkey to come down and help. Donkey wasn’t exactly happy about the request because helping his brother with any work annoyed him. Mule took too much time planning and measuring and not enough time working. But it was family and a free flight.
Donkey broke the news to me like he was telling me my dog died. I was disappointed, but it was an understandable reason. We went our separate ways for the holidays. Donkey and Mule planned to do the work over the course of a week.
While in Miami, Donkey decided to go out with an old friend, a fellow drug-addicted alcoholic. Donkey and this guy had known each other for years. He was Donkey’s older sister’s ex-boyfriend. It was this guy who would get Donkey some pot to smoke while he was working with his brother since he had flown and couldn’t bring his own.
The two of them went out and got sickly wasted. Black-out drunk. And, they drove this way. They spent hours drinking beer, taking shots, and smoking joints. His friend dropped Donkey back off at Mule’s house and chaos ensued, and not because he was falling down drunk.
Donkey made his way up stairs and removed his clothing. He liked to sleep naked, especially when drinking. Except, instead of falling into his bed in the guest room, he climbed into his 12-year-old nephew’s bed. He crawled naked into his 12-year-old nephew’s bed. His nephew woke up frightened. His uncle was drunk, naked, and in bed with him. The scream woke the rest of the family.
Mule was angry, but his wife wanted Donkey out, gone, on the next flight, no where around her sons, not allowed in her home. She was ready to fork over a small fortune to put Donkey on a flight back to Georgia that minute. Mule somehow convinced her to let Donkey sleep it off and they would discuss it at first light. Donkey was in no position to explain himself.
First light came and she was still a hornet of pissed-the-fuck-off. Donkey called me and explained that he would probably be leaving that day. He said what happened. I cringed. How the hell could you be so drunk you didn’t know you were crawling into bed with a 12-year-old boy? It wasn’t his fault, he explained.