Driving home in the red Ford, top down, listening to nothing but that sweet small block rumble, a black sky full of stars, a waxing moon.
Up in the headlights on the dark stretch I catch a glimpse of this guy, stumbling and tripping over the grasses and brush that border this road.
Dark shirt, dark pants, long brown beard. It looks like he puked himself. The front of his pants are wet, I’ve got to imagine he pissed himself too. He’s carrying a plastic grocery bag full of the spoils of this night, the remnants of a six-pack, in the other he had what looks to be a quart of something, might have been vodka, I was sure it wasn’t water.
Stumbling and falling and hitching a ride.
I almost stopped, but I wanted no part of that noise… no one coming to your rescue this night my friend. If you get lucky maybe a cop, but that ain’t much luck to brag on…
The rest of the ride home was deeply troubled. That happens when I look in the mirror sometimes.
I remember the prayer to a deity I no longer believe in but still managed the words, ‘but for the grace of god..’