Saturday, August 07, 2004

I Let a Friend Down Last Night ...

I let a friend down last night.

We got to Schooner Wharf at about 8 o'clock, second night in a row, for a birthday party for Brenda, a server, who was 23 yesterday. Schooner Wharf knows how to have a birthday party.

When we got there we spotted the friend, who lives up on a Geiger Key, and who doesn't come into SWB as often as he used to. I'll call him Tim. Tim was snockered, hammered, three sheets to the wind, drunker than I've ever seen him. And he was angry. He'd just been shut off at the bar. It was raining. He had somehow managed to get both of his vehicles, a car and a motorcycle, to Key West from Geiger Key. Now he couldn't even get a drink. He was threatening to move on to P.T.'s where he thought he might be able to be served.

I spent the next half-hour, part of it standing out in the rain next to his car in the Waterfront Market parking lot, trying to persuade him that it was not in his best interest to drive anywhere. I offered to drive him home. I offered to get him a taxi. I offered to try to find a place for him to stay in town. In the end, he drove off in the car, headed for home he said, and the relative safety of Geiger Key. I said a quiet prayer that he would be safe, and went back inside.

I hope that he made it, and didn't hurt anyone else or himself. I keep asking myself, what could I have done differently.

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