So tonight was a night.
I'm in Tucson for a week for what's basically a get together of my group of close friends--my best friend who's stationed here for the Air Force, who I'll call Arn, his wife, who I'll call Darlene, and my other extremely close friend, Marcus. We're all staying at Arn and Darlene's place on base. Tonight made the two hour drive to Phoenix so me and Darlene could see the first show of the Nine Inch Nails tour, while Arn and Marcus went bar hopping.
So firstly, the concert was fucking spectacular. They opened the show by playing the goddamn Broken EP all the way through, including songs that haven't been played in 23 years, which has never happened before. My expectations were tempered after the strong but fairly safe and predictable shows they've been doing the past year and change, and they were completely rocked and it was easily some of the most fun I've ever had at a concert (of which I have seen quite a few, at least for someone my age).
After the show, it quickly became clear that our two friends had drank to the point of being jackasses. It was a pain to deal with while dehydrated and exhausted and smelly from the show at 11:30 PM with a two hour drive ahead, but manageable overall. Arn was especially plastered to the point of being a total fuckhead, and when Darlene bickered with him and hopped him on the arm he retaliated by smacking her. This was not the low point of the night.
Neither me nor Marcus totally saw what happened, but she quickly alerted us to it and Marcus (as he's always been good at doing) got clear-headed real quick. He dealt with Arn while me and Darlene went to look for the car, as she expressed basically how horrible this whole thing is for her. The fact that he can get so drunk that he would do that (and not immediately see the problem, no less) is obviously really goddamn disturbing and tough for her when me and Marcus aren't around to do anything about it.
Over the drive home, Arn fell asleep quickly and the rest of us talked over the situation a lot--both about how if this happens, it is essential for Darlene to not needle and escalate the situation (not because it's right, but because when someone is that far gone they can't be reasoned with), and that limits absolutely must be put on Arn's drinking. She also made clear that she was absolutely not okay sharing the bed with him tonight, and that she needed us to ensure he crashed on the couch or in the guest room (which I was happy to relinquish for the sake of stabilizing the situation).
Upon getting home, we woke him up and he immediately went straight to bed despite our protests. So, we tried to let him pass out so we could carry him out, but he quickly woke back up. He's being a complete toddler at this point, insisting that he's sleeping in his bed. I eventually have enough of this and pull him out by force (bear in mind: of the three of us, Marcus is heavyset but fairly athletic, Arn is short but muscular, and I am a 6'3 twig). With great resistance, we get him out of the bed room (still in his underwear) and Darlene locks the door.
We tell him he's sleeping anywhere else, and he is not having it. I'm blocking the door, and Marcus is in front of me. He's threatening to break it down. We tell him we can be here all night, trying so, so hard to reason with him and get him to just fucking go to sleep in the guest room. The pettiness of it is infuriating, and I'm about ready to tell him that if he tried to get in I'm gonna kick his ass (world-building: I have never kicked anyone's ass or been in a real fight, nor have I ever been in this sort of position before, so there's a shit load of adrenaline coming with this). It doesn't come to that, because eventually I think something in his twisted mind about his pushover friend standing up to him like this and keeping him from his hard earned bed snaps and he swings at me--Marcus catches him, and wrestles him to the ground.
Now at this point things get hazy--somehow he ends up downstairs with me bringing him some clothes, and Marcus gets into another brawl with him downstairs. We block the stairway and it's clear we have the high ground, so he goes into the kitchen and punches a hole in the wall. It's becoming clear around this time that while he's obviously still drunk and in some sort of state, he doesn't remember what he did and probably feels like he's in some kind of nightmare, where his friends keep telling him he did something awful that he doesn't remember, and his brain is in overdrive trying to block him from believing what we're saying.
Fast-forwarding a bit, he seems to exit the dark side. He's not letting go staying in his bed just yet, but he finally accepts what we're telling him and he seems mortified. He says he can't drink anymore, and pours out forty dollars worth of beer that Marcus bought but it becomes clear that we just need to let him have this for the healing to begin. We end up talking it out, there's a lot of crying, and we start brainstorming his rehabilitation because even 0.1 percent of the times he gets drunk leading to this kind of shitshow is too much. He's aware of how hard this is going to be, but seems prepared to do what's necessary, and tomorrow we're going to talk the whole thing through with Darlene present.
This has been what feels like pretty much the hardest night of my life to date and I don't really have anybody to share this with who wasn't here, and who I'm comfortable sharing such dark shit involving these particular people with. So I'm here. Seeing my best friend of nearly a decade this way was like... seeing a ghost. After the melee when I went to update his wife on the situation we hugged and I just fell apart on her shoulder (which pisses me off because it totally kills my tough guy routine from minutes earlier). My heart is still in physical pain, presumably from the adrenaline. There's not really anything anyone here can do for me, just, holy shit, man.