Alternately titled The Purge: Brookline
Henry and I drove back from Cleveland after the show Saturday night and were a few blocks away from home when Henry pointed out the window and said, “Oh look, a drunk guy on our street. What a shocker.”
It was about 2:30am by this time, and I had been fighting to keep my eyes open pretty much the whole drive home (I always force myself to stay awake out of solidarity to Driver Henry, so stop saying I’m a bad girlfriend). But since this drunk guy was staggering only a few blocks from our house, I decided I could postpone collapsing onto my bed for a couple more minutes so I could feed my disgusting addition of clandestinely recording strangers.
Also known as: being a creepy stalking motherfucker.
Henry was not OK with this and kept telling me to stop, but thank god my penchant for being a dickhead won out because that guy ended up falling in front of my house, right onto the street.
We could hear the thud of head against concrete from our house, and Henry immediately called 911. Drink Guy was still breathing, but he was knocked out for several minutes. I was terrified that a car was going to smash him into a puddle of guts and vodka, but thankfully my neighbor’s parked car was blocking him from oncoming traffic. Still, he was pretty far out into the street.
He started to wake up right as Henry was finishing up the 911 call.
“You done?” he kept slurring, trying to pick up his head. “You done? We done here? ‘Scuse me.” Then he started to sit up and Henry told him to take it easy.
“You done?” Drunk Guy mumbled again, using the telephone pole to pull himself up. It’s sad that we live in a world where Henry and I were too afraid to offer the guy a hand, because god only knows if he’d turn volatile. There was already one fatal stabbing in Brookline earlier that day*. ON MY STREET, TOO! So we just stood there, helplessly watching him struggle to his feet.
*(Oh, and also someone got shot in the shoulder on Brookline Boulevard about an hour before we came home from Clevelend. I mean, what ever happened to just spending 4th of July weekend blowing yourself up with black market fire crackers?)
Henry pointed out that the man had some blood on the back of his head.
“You done? We done here? I’m going home.” he repeated again, like some drunk baby toy.
“You ARE home,” Henry said to him, using his creepy ‘I’m Teasing a Child’ tone.
“Why are you talking to him like you’re his kidnapper?” I asked. Meanwhile, the guy had steadied himself on his feet long enough to take off down the sidewalk.
“Follow him,” Henry sighed, calling 911 again.
Friends (and enemies), I am so grateful that this idiot was on foot and not behind a wheel. I’m just really not a fan of drunks. Stay the fuck home if you want to drink yourself to death.
Drunk Guy staggered at a quick pace down the sidewalk and then ran into the street, right in front of a car, for fuck’s sake. All I wanted to do was go the fuck to sleep, not witness vehicular homicide. By the grace of the god, the guy managed to make it safely to the other side of the street, where he collapsed on the steps of a nearby church. I stood and watched from a distance, making sure he stayed there so I would know where to direct the first responders, who were thankfully quick to arrive. I saw the firetruck idle next to Henry, who sent them my way. I pointed to the church steps and then went home. Too bad adrenaline prevented me from achieving the state of sleep that I had been craving for the last 3 hours.
“Hey, what did say to the firetruck people?” I asked Henry as we got ready for bed. God forbid I should miss anything!
“Firetruck people?” he repeated in a patronizing tone. “They’re called firefighters, Erin.”
Anyway, that’s the story of how I ended up babysitting a drunk stranger.
Brookline exploded again the next afternoon, starting with a landlord/tenant dispute two houses down that began with a simple disagreement over lawn-mowing and culminated into a screaming match and a visit from the motherfuckin’ popo. This sparked my other neighbors to emerge from their house and talk loudly about how our landlord has “another thing coming” and I’m like, “Can we wait until I move? Can we also not stand in my front yard while shit-talking the land lord?”
Meanwhile, some older gentleman slowly biked past our house and screamed, “I’M GOING TO KILL YOU AND YOUR DOG” to my neighbor who thinks the landlord has another thing coming, who was standing in the yard with his dog. This prompted said neighbor to scream, “COME BACK HERE AND FIGHT ME YOU FUCKING FAGGOT” so yay, now we have delightful slurs happening in front of the children, too.
And then an hour later, a neighbor on the street behind our house paid us a visit because OUR SON threw a rock and broke one of his garage windows. Luckily, Henry and the neighbor remained cool-headed and even shook hands and laughed about it, because that is how normal people handle confrontation.
I mean, that sucks it even happened—bad Chooch, bad! But thank god Chooch was the perp and not our landlord-hating neighbor’s son, who was the accomplice, because the police would have probably had to come back since that family is incapable of handling things peacefully. That’s all they do all day is scream: parents screaming, kids screaming, dogs screaming. They’re like a goddamn Yinzer screamo band.
So that’s how our weekend ended: Henry having to pay to have a window replaced and our son grounding himself and putting himself to bed without dinner at 7PM. (I mean, I was just going to be like, “Stop throwing rocks, dumbass!” but whatever gets it done, son.) Henry and I just kind of sat numbly on the couch for the rest of the night. I think it’s safe to say that buying a house not on this street is our #1 priority at this point.
And that’s the story about that time Brookline broke.