One gusty night my family and I were driving up the mountain on an icy road. When I peered through the white blanket of snow falling from the sky and I saw two pillars of frosty light illuminating the snow like two flashlights shining through motes of dust. Upon the sight, I immediately alerted my mother that I had seen a car in the snaking ditch by the side of the road. We pulled over immediately to see if the person in the car was okay. My mother got out to speak with the man who was still in the drivers seat; a fat middle aged man bald as a cue ball fell out of the car and landed flat on his face. My grand father; a retired New York police captain, detective, WWII vet and a Florida chief of police, was watching from the car said with one glance, “man he’s drunk”. My mother then called for me to come and help, so I left the car, stepped out into the biting wind, shuffled down into the ditch and helped him up. While I was helping him, I had a whiff of his putrid breath, which was saturated with alcohol it was a stench I’ll never forget, a sickly sweet yet rancid odor. I helped him stager up the ditch with him falling every three steps. When I reached the top of the ditch, other people had pulled aside to help and took his weight off my shoulder, I thankfully retuned to the blissful heat and comfort of the car. From this vantage point, I saw him wander into the road several times, however each time he was pulled back to safety. When there was talk of calling the police, he tried to run to his car but failed by rolling down the ditch into the mud. I once again left the warm sanctuary of the car to see if was injured while the police were called. I helped him back into his car while one of the other people tried to help him back out of the ditch, but he could not even turn on the car he said, “It’s too complicated everything’s a button it’s all very technical”. Finally, the police arrived, and we left. As we were leaving we saw him fail to walk in a straight line and fell on the cop.
The Long Drive Home
March 24, 2011