(19/32) “We’d been living on 34th Street for a few years when a prostitute moved into our building. Her name was Candy or something. And at first I thought Carmine was fucking her, because she kept knocking on our door. But one day the elevator wasn’t working and I caught the two of them shooting up in the stairwell. Carmine swore it was a one-time thing. But I started to notice little changes. He didn’t want to go out much anymore. He kept dozing off on the couch. And then my tip money began to disappear. Later I’d find out that Carmine had been using for years. But I’d been too square to notice. He was the only junkie in the world who could keep a 9 to 5. And he was shooting up between his toes, so I never saw tracks on his arms. Everything seemed normal. I never had to tell him to do anything.  It would always be: ‘I’ll wash the dishes tonight,’ or whatever. Junkies don’t do that. There wasn’t much sex, I remember that.  But he’d give me hugs.  We’d watch TV together. So for the longest time I never knew.  We tried a few programs after he finally came clean. But every time he went to rehab, he’d just meet another connection. Then he’d go straight back to the drugs. I couldn’t handle the lies anymore. It was like I was living with someone who wasn’t real. And everything he said was part of a script. I think Carmine sensed what was coming. Because every day he was asking me to marry him. And the worse he got on drugs, the more he asked. I’d always tell him no.  It wasn’t because I didn’t love him— I loved that man more than I’ve ever loved another person. I just couldn’t be with a junkie. It wasn’t easy to leave. We didn’t have any savings. And the apartment was in his name, so I had nowhere to go. At some point I figured in my crazy mind that if I married him, I could divorce him. And if I divorced him—at least I could keep the apartment. So the next time he proposed, I said ‘yes.’  We went to city hall. I wore a black dress because I knew it was the end.  He didn’t know, but I knew.”

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