Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Drinking and Driving

Watched the football game last night – Steelers won!!! I had a few drinks and fell asleep at the beginning of the fourth quarter. When I woke up, the damned news was on.

While I was driving a truck, I didn’t drink much at all. I’d get home every three of four weeks and do my share then. When I was on the road, I didn’t drink at all. It’s difficult to do your best at a dangerous job when you’re hung over. Once or twice when I knew I wouldn’t get a load for a day or two, I bought some beer and drank a few in my truck.

Prior to that I was pretty much a functioning alcoholic. Who you gonna kill managing a restaurant? If I was working nights we closed at 2 a.m. I'd kill a few at the restaurant after the paperwork was done, then head home for a few more. Shit, I could sleep until 2, then head to work again.

I don’t know how I got through all those years without either killing someone or getting a DUI. Many a night I arrived home not knowing how I got there.

When I split from my first wife, I stayed drunk for a solid year. I lost my job, a good one, and ended up working in a gas station for three bucks an hour. Quite a comedown from a job that had afforded me an upper-middle class income.

I found that the best way to avoid a hangover was to stay drunk. For about six months I wore sunglasses with blue lenses, day and night. The world looked so nice. It was soft and warm and furry. Everything was a bathed in a hazy, shadowy blur. I loved it.

No matter that I rolled my future wife’s car one night. I had taken her home after a night of partying and immediately headed back to the party. A little more beer, a little more grass and I was ready for the ride home. I lost it in a curve on a rain-slicked highway, spun several times, hit a road sign and flipped it into the median.

With the help of a passerby, I got the sports car back on its wheels and drove the bitch home. I called the future Mrs. and told her that I had gotten out through the top door. “My car doesn’t have a top door,” she screamed.

“It did tonight, sweetheart,” I said.

That’s why I don’t drink and drive anymore.

Another entry soon.


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