The Ride Home


My ears were ringing in the frosty quiet at the bottom of the hill. Faintly I could hear the drums and screaming lead guitar a quarter mile away and the realization that I was WAY drunker now than I was when I was still drinking.

I was as far from home as I could be while still being in the city limits and at 1:45 AM, it was no longer a balmy 20 degrees that it was when I was dropped off at the bar in a T-shirt. Said T-shirt was soaked with sweat from booze induced dancing with anyone who would dance.

All my dance-mates that night were townies and strangers because my wife didn’t want to go out this particular night. I wasn’t really listening but I think she had some silly concern about nursing an infant while keeping our toddler from streaking through the winter neighborhood naked. Whatever, women always have an excuse to miss out on a good hangover.

I gotta pee so I’m picking my way stupidly into the ditch and hoping that some of the pee will actually make it into the snow and not all down the front of my pants. Don’t judge me! All of a sudden car light are coming down the hill from the bar and it stops next to where I’m standing in the ditch. “You wanna ride?”

“I uh.. well..I don’t..”

“Get in dumbass.” A pleasantly impatient woman with stringy dishwater blonde hair was motioning me over. “Get in and hurry up!” I climbed into the back seat with 4 other people in what I’m guessing was a early 70’s Subaru.

It was all I could do to not puke as we whipped down the back roads and alleys dropping off drunks. I’m the last one in the back and I laid across the seat and clung to consciousness, burping excessively, and swallowing the slippage.

“Hey Dumbass! You’re the last one. Where do you wanna go?” I had no idea where I was so I said “Right here is fine.” “Are you sure? I can drop you off at you house.” She sounded concerned. “No, here is fine.” She stopped and I climbed out and thanked her and she buzzed away.

Luckily it was near the Catholic Church just a few blocks from my house so I wobbled over the curb and onto the sidewalk when the frozen lawn of someone’s home slammed my shoulder and the side of my head. I laid there for awhile retching and moving slightly aside to keep out of the yuck.

After a bit the chill kind of sharpened me and I started to get up when a section of my shirt that was in my puke tore as I lifted off the frozen puddle. “Fuck! I could freeze to death doing this shit.” A few days later I read about a couple of drunk derelicts were found frozen, huddled together next to a shed.

I takes a village to raise an idiot and I’d like to holler a quick thank you to the villagers who have watched out for me over the years.

Thank you Blonde Lady for THE RIDE HOME


7 thoughts on “The Ride Home

  1. “…burping excessively, and swallowing the slippage.” – nice, visual, visceral. You’ve got a couple of smile-worthy turns of phrase in there.

    IRL or fiction? Or somewhere in between? Ah, who cares. Great, quick, readable microstory.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mr. Mole.
      Glad you liked the human aspect. Pre-puke burps are as nasty as earwax.
      This one was real about 25 years ago and closely associated with another very similar one that played out approximately 12 years ago.
      I’ve not been much of a drinker so when I did drink excessively there was an experience involved.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That night you took the long way home….
    For those two the ride home was in some regards much longer or much shorter than they could have or maybe did imagine….
    The journey home wasn’t just to get to a house and family. It wasn’t a place that you could find on a map.
    The journey home may have been a destination found in your mind and even deeper in your soul….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Don’t judge me!” is the operative term in this piece. As we make our way, we are constantly being judged, but by who? The drunk Bukowski used to say how could a judge, who represents an insane system, pass judgement and hand out a penalty on his actions. He was, after all,doing only what any sane man would do, get drunk and salve his wounds in the face of insanity. So like all good writing, it is in the reading where we find the truth and meaning. Thanks. Duke

    Liked by 1 person

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