Gut Rumbles
 

August 27, 2009

a close one

Originally PUBLISHED December 5, 2005

I THOUGHT I had an AA meeting to attend in Statesboro tonight. I left home in a pouring rainstorm, made it to what I THOUGHT was the proper location 30 minutes early and couldn't find the meeting. I asked a sweet young thing on the first floor if she knew where the meeting might be, and she sent me to the third floor of the building.

I went there and didn't see anything resembling an AA meeting in any of the rooms. No coffee pot anywhere was a dead giveaway. I started back to the elevator when I met a nicely-dressed, dapper-looking man in the hallway. Hell--- he looked like he COULD be a drunk (drunks will fool ya that way), so I asked HIM about the meeting.

"I think that's on Tuesday," he said. I showed him my list of meetings, and it damn sure said Monday AND Tuesday on it. I was in the right place, too. "Well, they meet on the second floor. If there's a meeting, you'll find it there."

I thanked the guy and went to the second floor. No meeting there, either. I waited around until five minutes after the meeting was scheduled to start before I gave up. I left the building and drove back home.

I wasn't really pissed. After the rain quit, I had a pleasant drive to Statesboro, and the trip got me out of the house. That's always a good thing.

But I almost had a terrible wreck on the way home.

I was all the way to Highway 21 between Springfield and Rincon when I saw a bunch of tail lights and warning flashers on the right side of the road ahead of me. A cop car with blue lights flashing came tearing across the median and sped toward the scene. I slowed down and eased over into the left lane.

About the time that I realized there was a terrible wreck up there, the jackass in front of me stood on his brakes and STOPPED in the left lane, right beside a car that was stopped in the right lane. I was looking at a roadblock.

I hit my brakes and started sliding and fishtailing on the wet pavement. I wasn't certain I could stop before I slammed into one of the cars in front of me, so I started looking for a place to bail as I fought the wheel to keep from going into a spin. I saw a guardrail to my left and another car to my right.

Nowhere to go.

Just about the time I made up my mind to eat the guardrail rather than hit another car, I got everything back under control and stopped a good two feet from the car in front of me. I was perfectly calm---downright SERENE--- except for a burning desire to drag that rubber-necking sumbitch out of the car in front of me and beat the living shit out of him for stopping in the road the way he did.

I was almost home before I wondered... could I have done that bit of stunt-driving if I had been drinking? If not, my happy ass would probably be in jail right now, with a fistfull of tickets, a DUI and a potential lawsuit for whiplash on my hands. Bejus! That would be pure ugliness on the half-shell.

I think my Higher Power was sending me a message tonight.

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