Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Rescuing a Drunk

My husband noticed a young woman was dropped off by a car just ahead of us as we walked home from a friend's birthday celebration. Expecting her to faceplant onto the sidewalk with every lurch, I kept up a steady stream of gasps. Finally, at the top of the hill, we overtook her, but I couldn't just pass by her. Instead, I said, "Honey, you're drunk. You need to go home. Do you know where you live?" I took hold of her trying to keep her upright. She seemed to have some sense of direction so we wobbled along, me holding her, her stumbling, and my husband, uncertain, but following.

She walked out of her flipflops; I picked them up. She dropped her phone. I picked it up. I asked her where she lived again. I looked up "home" on her phone, but realized it was probably her mother's number. I asked my husband to take over holding the girl when she sprawled yet again to the ground, apparently ready to snooze. I got a voicemail on the first number on her recent call list. I looked about for inspiration. 

A couple magically appeared walking up the hill. We called out to them and asked if they recognized the young lady. They did not, but they came over for a closer look. The woman took over the cell phone while her boyfriend watched. From another direction, a young man approached. It was about eleven in the evening, but apparently college students keep late hours. "Do you recognize her," we all asked. He said, "No, but just call the last number dialed until you get someone, that's what I do when they're drunk." The woman on phone duty called the next number and the next. Caller number four answered. "Do you have an address?" She gave us the street name and told us it was near a pink and purple house. The woman on phone duty chatted a few minutes with the phone friend, ferreting out if she had roommates. The young man recognized the name of one of the roommates. "I've heard about you!" he said to the drunk young lady. I think we all wondered at that comment. It was only a block away.

Her roommates, a bunch of guys playing video games looked up, briefly." Does this look right," the woman handling the phone asked.  "Yeah," she said as she stumbled in, aiming for the sofa but instead collapsed onto the floor in a pile. No one appeared to be alarmed at how inebriated she was. The young men kept playing their game. I handed over the flip-flops. As we left, the phone lady called out, "Her friend will come by to check on her."   

If you haven't been out with stumbling drunkards in a while, apparently what you do is call the last number dialed until you get someone. Or. How about don't drink alone? Get some new friends?  Better yet, no binge drinking.