So, I went to a video store last night. Sounds like a lie. Who the hell goes to video stores anymore? Well, I did it for old times' sake. I used to go there all the time, then...Netflix got me. I felt bad about not going and supporting the small business guy. I went, is what I'm trying to say. For some reason, I spent a long time there and somehow got involved in a conversation with the video store guy about how the American and European economies are faltering and the Chinese economy is prospering. What the hell? Anyway, the door opens and a lovely young woman walks in and hands the video guy her driver's license. He looks at it and asks her what she wants. She takes it back, staggers backwards, knocks over a stack of videos, burps, then staggers out the door onto the sidewalk. The video guy and I look questioningly at one another.
Damnit, I'm a father! I had to go out and care for this child. Two young men (in their mid 20's) were kinda corraling her. They were also kinda laughing at the drunk chick in the terribly short skirt and low cut top that was barely covering her upper torso. This is so how bad things happen. Tomorrow's headline - "...And She Was Sold As A Sex Slave In..." She lilted to the left, fell to the sidewalk, and rolled toward the street - busy street for a Tuesday night! I grabbed her and sat her on the curb. The two guys got a bit more serious. They told me that she had just been kicked out of a cab. There was vomit on her arm and her eyes were completely vacant. I asked her for her cell phone, which she couldn't produce. Great.I asked her for her phone number. She gave me an area code that I'd never heard of, followed by not enough numbers to be a phone number. I asked for her address and she gave me the same not quite enough numbers. She handed me her driver's license, which had a Berkeley, CA address. I was born in Berkeley. It's about 400 miles away. At least I got her name. Let's call her Tanya. I had one of the guys go through her purse to find a phone. He practically dumped it out but no phone appeared. Again...great.
I didn't want to call the police but I knew the time had come. I stood out in the street, looking for a cop car. We were only three blocks from a police station but not police were in the vicinity. Great. I took out my phone to call them, when what did my eyes behold? Tanya pulled a phone out from God-knows-where. I asked her for it and she dropped it on the curb. I took it and called the last number that she called. It was her mom. Great!
I'm now talking to a woman who's beside herself with worry. She's in Berkeley, of course. She told me Tanya's address and asked me to take her home. Nope. I assured her that I would get her daughter home safely but I wasn't gonna put a 22 year old, insufficiently dressed, dead drunk girl in my car and take her anywhere. I called the next number on her phone and got her roommate. I gave her our location and began the "10 minute" wait for pick-up. Tanya threw up about nine gallons of mystery.
Tanya now finds her second wind and wants to go a-walkin'. And a-talkin'. I had to physically restrain her because her shoes were pointed toward the street. Sweet little drunkie poo didn't care for being cared for. Now, the racial epithets start getting hurled. "Take your hands off me, you f-ing"...well, you know. That lasted about eight loooong minutes. To the ignorant passerby, this didn't look kosher. The really awful thing about it was, maybe 15 people passed by and no one said a word. I was a man holding a scantily clad young woman while she screamed "let me go!" What a world.
20 minutes later, friends show up and whisk young Tanya away. I made sure to tell them to call her mom and give that poor woman some peace. I shake hands with the two guys. I hope for the teachable moment for them and her. Maybe they can all save someone else some day and pay it forward. Teachable moment, pay it forward - two new age cliches in one paragraph, yah!
Lovely party, thanks for coming!