Friday, June 27, 2008

My Bizarre Commute Home

I had a "business meeting" tonight at the Hob-Lob. The meeting time, 8:30 - 10:00 p.m., would normally provide for a quick commute home. The short 3-mile drive should have been uneventful and brief given the time of night. I didn't, however, calculate into my estimated commute time the topless, drunk women on the street corner near our house. As I sat at the stop sign, my options racing through my mind, she stumbled into the street. There was seemingly no other option. I had to do something before she got herself killed.

I rolled down my window a few inches and asked if she needed help. Duh. She said she needed a ride to her house just a few streets away. She volunteered that her boyfriend had done something but stopped short of making any accusations that she might later regret. I thought to myself...she's wearing jean shorts, a bra, and a bath armed and dangerous can she be? I sent up a quick prayer for protection and invited her to get in. I think my blood alcohol level spiked just by breathing in what she exhaled upon taking up residence in the seat beside me. I placed a quick call to Don letting him know what was going on and subtly asked him to stay on the line while we drove the mile or two to her house.

I asked her if home was safe and if she needed me to call the police. She answered yes and no, respectively. I asked her if she'd been drinking. Duh. I asked if she was sober enough to take care of herself to which she assured me she was. She then went on to state that she just needed to get home and get her car keys so she could go pick up her friend. WHAT?!?!?! I reminded her that she was drunk and could not drive anywhere and asked if I could pick up her friend. She, of course, told me no and that she wouldn't drive anywhere.

I asked her who was at home. No one. If by no one she meant several stumbling people milling around the outside of the house, then she would be correct. One half-dressed gentleman came out to the street when we pulled up. I quickly locked my door. He stood staring vacantly through the driver's side window until my passenger was able to muster enough balance to get out of the car. Once she shut the door I drove off, not nearly as quickly as I would have like to.

After all of the adrenaline started to make its retreat from my bloodstream, my next thought was I need to do more. What if she got in her car and drove somewhere? What if her boyfriend came back to finish what he started? When I got home I called the non-emergency number for the police. I told the communications officer what had happened. He asked numerous questions about descriptions and locations, seemingly nonplussed by the fact that a half-naked women was wondering around out in the middle of nowhere. Without missing a beat he asked if she was wearing a bra, as if this is a question he asks everyday. This struck me both as absurd and tragic. He asked if I wanted an officer to go to the address. I don't know, I replied, I just thought someone should know what was going on. He said he would send a car out to check on it.

I don't know why our paths crossed tonight. It was a "sobering" reminder of what alcohol can do to a person. In my overactive imagination, I like to think that I was able to do some small part in averting tragedy...either hers or someone elses. Maybe I just gave a drunk a ride home. I'll never know.

Simply stated: I did what I thought Jesus would do. I hope it was enough.