drinking and driving
Thursday, August 7 2003
I was totally sober when I drove up to Saugerties this evening to have Louis (Katie's boyfriend) show me a basement that needs to be wired for electricity. I'll be doing this job in my usual unlicensed cowboy style. Louis and I looked around the place, talked to the owner, debated a few points in a way that demonstrated our respective qualifications (homeowner, carpenter, and cowboy electrician, respectively), and that was that.
The oddest thing about this gig is its setting. It's a modular home in a sort of a hippie cooperative. Real estate is held commonly by the co-op, but houses are owned individually. Shaggy-haired kids frolick throughout the grounds dressed tie-dyed clothes and waving homemade wooden swords.
We weren't there long before Louis wanted to break for dinner, so the two of us went together to Main Street Bar and Grill in downtown Saugerties and had very traditional beef-rich American-style dinners at the bar. It was a "free wings Thursday," and this might have been the attraction that drew the hunky guys, blond hotties, and miniskirted brunettes, all of them in their early-20s and seeming a little out of place in this decidedly unpretentious bar. More in keeping with the ambiance was the older Jewish-beat-poet-looking guy to my left. He jumped into a conversation Louis and I were having about laws in Wyoming that permit drivers to drink alcoholic beverages so long as they aren't drunk.
I wasn't drinking as I drove home, but I'd had three beers and wasn't exactly sober. Rain was falling and I had to take it slow, but even so I managed to miss the Zena Road intersection on 212 and had to cross over to 28 on the better-marked 375.
Late tonight, well after I'd fallen asleep, Gretchen heard a loud car accident out on Dug Hill Road. It had happened in the treacherous curve in front of our house. This curve is the feature that makes our neighborhood safe for street-stupid pets. Gretchen ran out to investigate and found a man standing beside a car that didn't appear to be damaged. She asked if he needed any help and the guy said he was fine, but from the slurring optimism of his speech she decided he must be intoxicated. Damned if anyone was going to get drunk and have an accident in front of our house! So she called the police to tell them to be sure to nab this guy. The police told her not to worry, that they were already on the scene and were well aware of the situation. They set up flares and more than an hour passed before they brought in a flatbed truck to take the car as "evidence."
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