Sleep in the car, Asshole

So Matson gets dispatched to the NCO club to pick up a drunk. This was something the Military Police would do if we weren’t too busy and we never seemed to be very busy. She drives up the hill, the parking lot empty, the club closed, and finds a man leaning against a light pole.

“Hey,” she shouts at him. “You the one who needs a ride?”

The man shakes his head, starts to walk away.

She shrugs, drives over to the doors, talks to the bouncer. She knows the bouncer, likes his thick arms painted with tattoos. His bald head and shiny earrings. “What’s going on, Ted? Busy night?”

“Not really,” Ted says. “A quiet Saturday night.”

She nods. “So, who needs a ride?”

“That guy,” the bouncer says, pointing at the man stumbling down the hill.

“Him?” she asks. “I just asked him if he needed a ride and he said no.”

“He’s pretty drunk,” the bouncer says. “He puked all over the carpet and we had to carry him out.”

“He belligerent?”

“Nah,” Ted says. “Kept apologizing. Just couldn’t walk anymore.”

“Shit,” she says and gets back into her car. “See you later, Ted.” But Ted had already closed the doors.

Eventually she pushes the man into the backseat. But he can’t talk, only mumbles. And he doesn’t know where he lives.

Matson is pissed. All the clubs are closed and there’s no traffic on the road and this is the time she likes to get a candy bar and Coke from the shoppette and then go hide in the WWII barracks until the end of shift.

“Are you kidding me?” Matson says. “You don’t even know where you live?”

The man only mumbles, stretches himself across the seat face down. She wonders if she should take him to the hospital to get his stomach pumped. It would serve him right. But then she thinks of all the paperwork she would have to do if she did that. Thinks of the hours she would have to sit at the hospital waiting for him to sober up so she could take him back to the station. She parks the car, gets into the backseat, goes through his pockets, finds an ID. She thanks Christ it’s current and has his current address, a housing area way on the other side of post. She calls into the dispatch with her beginning miles and her destination.

“Roger, 3-3-9,” the dispatcher says. “Lawman clear, zero-two-forty hours.”

She drives fast but not fast enough. There’s a retching in the back and then the sick smell of vomit which makes her want to vomit. “You fucking shitbag,” she screams and opens the windows. “What the fuck is your problem?” She wants to stop and beat him with her flashlight. But more than that she just wants to be done with him.

She finds his house and stops outside. She tries to kick him awake but he is soundly passed out, his face resting in brown and green puke. She decides this guy isn’t her problem. He’s living in quarters which means he’s got a wife asleep in the house. She’ll go wake this woman up, make her deal with this mess.

Matson sees something taped to the door. It looks like a note. It is a note. A sheet of notebook paper ripped from the book. Words scrawled in angry black marker. “SLEEP IN THE CAR, ASSHOLE!”

“Great,” Matson says. “Fucking great.” She knocks on the door. She bangs on the door. She kicks the door. Finally, a light from the inside.

“Didn’t you get my note?” a woman screams from the other side. “You ain’t coming in here. Not tonight, not ever.”

Matson sighs. “Ma’am,” she says. “This is the Military Police. Open the door.”

There’s silence. Then the sound of something heavy being dragged across the floor. Then clicks as the locks are turned. The door opens slightly, a chain across it. The wife is red-faced and puffy.

“Ma’am,” Matson says. “I’ve got your husband out in the car and I need you to collect him or I’m taking him to jail.”

The wife considers this. Her shoulders slump. “No,” she says. “No, I’ll get him. Let me put on my shoes.”

Matson and the wife each grab a foot and yank him out of the car. His head hits the pavement. “Oh, shit,” Matson says.

“Don’t worry about him,” the wife says. “He’s got a hard head.”

They roll him through the door and onto the kitchen floor.

“I don’t know how much more of this I can take,” the wife says. “Every fucking night with this guy. My daddy told me not to marry him and now he won’t talk to me.”

Matson looks around the house. It’s neat and clean. It looks like they have kids. At least one. “That’s sad,” Matson says, tired of these stories and wanting to get back on the road, wanting her candy bar and Coke. “Don’t you have any other kin? Maybe some friends who’d help?”

The wife shakes her head. “Maybe I should let you take him to jail,” she says. “But that would probably make me feel worse.”

“Well,” Matson says. “He’s in the house now so I’ve got no cause to take him to jail. But I could give you a pamphlet with some numbers to call if you need help with all this.”

“Oh. Well, thanks for bringing him home I guess.” And she opens the door for Matson to go.

“Actually,” Matson says. “He’s puked in my car so I’m going to need you to clean that up.”

The wife closes her eyes, pinches her nose. “Of course,” she says. “Let me just get a bucket.”

Matson looks around the house again, the man snoring and dreaming on the floor, his wife filling a bucket with soap and water. And she’s glad she isn’t married. And vows never to be married.

One Response

  1. I remember that night!

    Lisa - July 10th, 2011 at 4:56 pm