Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Too much to drink

I am participating in the
 Slice of Life.  
All participants are writing about one moment, one part of their day, 
on Tuesdays.

                                                        Thank you, Two Writing Teachers!

I am thinking of a friend. 

There's a story she used to tell, with lots of laughter and embellishments, of how she met her policeman husband; they've been married so many years now. Yes, you see, she was all of 26, it was a Friday night, following a long, hard week of work, and she went out with girlfriends, to release and unwind. She had too much to drink. She had WAAAAAYYYYY too much to drink. She remembered dancing at the bar, laughing and carrying on with the girls. Then, it was time to go home. Her girlfriends asked her if she was "good," and she assured them yes, and they drove off in their cars and she sat down in her driver's seat, and realized, oh no, I cannot drive. She passed out behind the wheel, in the parking lot of the bar, sleeping off the booze, and, thankfully, not driving anywhere.

Small town, USA.

She woke up to a flashlight in her eyes, a tapping at the window, a policeman's query, "You okay? What's going on here?" He asked for her driver's license, he talked back and forth with her a bit, and in the end he said, "What, say, we leave your car here, and I drive you back to your place?" 

Wasn't that kind of him?

She got in touch with him the next day, to thank him for taking care of her and to apologize for her behavior. He asked her out on a date, and the rest is history.

I haven't seen this friend in a long while. I wonder if she's comparing her story to that of Rayshard Brooks, who was also 26 and passed out behind the wheel of a car? I wonder if her husband compares the two stories?

What 'passes' do we give to certain people, who fit a certain mold? 

How do we treat people differently?

How do we rationalize our behaviors?

What assumptions do we make about those that are different from us?

What makes us treat others less compassionately? 

How do we, 

as a society, 

dig into this

the invisible, 

within us,

that keeps us from seeing 

the full human before us?

“Racism is not merely a simplistic hatred. It is, more often, broad sympathy toward some and broader skepticism toward others.”
― Ta-Nehisi Coates


  1. Before you mentioned Rayshard Brooks, I was thinking that of him and the massive difference between the way your old friend and Brooks were treated. It's astounding... and incredibly sad.

  2. The contrast between the endings of these two very similar stories could not be more stark. Your questions at the end are powerful and important.

  3. So much to think about here. That quote at the end was new to me but something I will think more about....

  4. GREAT story to re-tell right now. So on-point. My mind also immediately went to Rayshard Brooks. I hope your friend and her husband are talking about this memory, and reflecting as you are, as you help us do.
    And I missed the quote until I read Kathleen's comment- it is a great quote to share. Thank you.

  5. I’ve been thinking about stories similar to this one you share. I wonder what would have happened if the second cop had not arrived at that Wendy’s. I’ve been thinking about how the “good” cop was swayed by the one who killed Rayshard Brooks rather than vice versa. Too often white bodies get protection while brown ones get suspicion and all the baggage that entails.