Charlie has been my wife's boyfriend for about four years. I hate him.
He's English, upbeat, and eager to be 'mates' with everyone. He can be quite charming - until you get to know him and realize that he's a hard-core alcoholic and a complete loser.
Charlie and I could not be more opposite. We're so completely different that I long ago stopped trying to understand why my sort-of-ex-wife finds him irresistible. It's just a phenomenon that IS.
Charlie's alcoholism is only one of his many problems. His next biggest problem is that he never has a nickel. I can't say that he's broke because he's lazy; that's not true. If he says he'll do a job he will, although his work tends to be very sloppy. He's the type who would use a wad of chewing gum if he thought it would fix a leaky pipe. Cheap, creative - and completely wrong.
The reason Charlie is so poor is because he's in the US illegally and he has no identification of any kind. No passport, no driver's license, no state ID - nothing. Because he has no ID he can't get a regular job. Instead he survives one day to the next by doing odd jobs. If you need a room painted he can do it quickly for $100. But he'll slap the paint on, not use a drop cloth and get paint flecks everywhere.
In the more than four years that I have had the displeasure of knowing Charlie he has bounced through about eight different living situations. He's been evicted twice for not paying rent. Other times he's been roommates with other alcoholics. Because his friends are all losers with no jobs, it's only a matter of time before they get evicted and Charlie is forced to find a new couch.
In November, for the first time ever, Charlie stopped drinking. While he was sober his ex-wife let him sleep on her couch. I loved that situation because Charlie doesn't have a car and his ex-wife lives about 7 miles away. I never had to see him! But then the inevitable happened in February and Charlie fell off the wagon. After a few weeks of on-and-off drinking, his ex finally gave him the boot about ten days ago. That literally left him homeless.
For the first five days he bounced from friend to friend. One night here, one night there. Last Thursday night my sort-of-ex Gabbie spent a solid hour begging me to let him sleep in our house. Normally I give in to her about everything, but when it comes to Charlie I have my limits. "No, no, no. Absolutely, positively NO WAY," I told her.
I suggested that he find an overpass somewhere. Gabbie was not amused.
Somehow Charlie eeked out a few more nights on various couches. Then on Sunday night, a solid two hours after Gabbie had crawled into bed to watch TV for the remainder of the night, her cell phone rang. Charlie. After some vague back and forth between them, Gabbie hung up and jumped out of bed. Then she started searching the house for something. "What's going on?" I asked her.
"Charlie is going to sleep in my car tonight. I'm getting him some blankets."
I grumbled to myself for a while. Then I decided that keeping him in the car was better than fighting about him sleeping in the house.
Oh, how short-sighted I was. Sure, he can sleep in the car but what happens when he's hungry, dirty or needs to use the bathroom? Into the house he comes.
The big question is: how long is this sleeping-in-the-car bullshit going to last?
I don't know the answer. Gabbie is working feverishly to find him a room to rent. She's already told me that she's going to use me as his reference. That will enable me to experience the finer points of 'survival of the fittest' as I try to foist Charlie out of my life and into someone else's.
At a minimum Charlie won't have a home until April first. He needs to work for the rest of March to save enough money to pay one month's rent and a security deposit. This means that I can look forward to dealing with him on a close, personal basis for at least the next 17 days. What a fucking nightmare.
Now with Charlie hanging around, I have to wonder why I thought a co-parenting, co-habitational break-up was a good idea...