If you were to go by the public records alone, you'd get the wrong impression of me. You'd think that I was some kind of common lawbreaker who's had multiple run-ins with the authorities for operating motor vehicles under the influence of alcohol. You'd think I'm just some guy who goes out, gets plastered, stumbles to his car, and drives home like it's no big deal. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. No matter what the police reports say, I don't drive drunk. I love to drive drunk. I live to drive drunk. It's my passion.
Fact is, mere words could never describe the sheer exuberance I experience when I climb behind the wheel of the first car I find when I'm deeply intoxicated. Take this report, dated Oct. 31, 2003. It says they clocked me at 70 miles per hour in a residential zone on that chilly Halloween night. Well, from where I was sitting, it felt more like I was going 120, and it was awesome. I felt as free and full of life as those kids in their Frankenstein costumes.
It was one of those moments where it's you and two open roads, and you don't know which one to take, so you just let it all happen. Sure, I ran a few stop signs and clipped a few mirrors, but what good is paying for all that insurance if you never use it? The police may have gotten all the facts right, but where was the heart?
After they administered my Breathalyzer, they determined that I was drunk. They didn't need a test for that. When they came up to my window and asked me if I had been drinking, I said "Yes!" and pounded the steering wheel while howling at the moon to show them how alive I felt. And I meant it!
There are some emotions no police report could ever capture.
Oh yeah, how about July 2004, when they said I "failed to maintain lane position and crossed the yellow line before skidding along the guardrail to a complete standstill." Well, sure, that's the sterile way of saying it. What they didn't mention was the jolt of adrenaline that rushes through you as you wake up and see two bright headlights coming at you and you move at just the right moment, straddling that knife's edge between here and the hereafter. They also fail to mention how much I was cracking up when they finally got to me.
Or from May 2005: The report makes such a big deal over how I refused to take a field sobriety test, you'd think that I was Public Enemy No. 1. But why waste taxpayer money on proving that a man who just a minute earlier was singing, "I am so fucking drunk, and I love it!" to the tune of Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It" is intoxicated? They had me recite the alphabet, and noted that I was unable to get beyond "G." Well, I didn't get to where I am today knowing what comes after G backwards. I got here by pounding three of anything over 60-proof and doing doughnuts in the state police headquarters parking lot.
They should have put down that the reason I was so mad was because they made me stop what was probably the best drive of my life. It was so invigorating! But instead they put it down as "attempted assault." No way. That police officer and I had a gentleman's disagreement over whether or not I would drive home. Nothing more. To insinuate otherwise is not only irresponsible, but fucking lame.
Report after report, it's all the same: "Subject was swerving this or striking oncoming that and was belligerent and uncooperative when pulled over." Taken together, all you get is a man who endangers people's lives and should have his license revoked. But even if you added up all seven to nine reports, you'd never get close to the sheer, unparalleled ecstasy of throwing MGD cans out the window of a speeding vehicle as the stars and police helicopters streak overhead. I hope the next time they pull me over, the police get it right, so I can actually remember the details of another fantastic ride, and, God willing, one day share them with my children.
Should I drive drunk again? No. Will I drive drunk again? Of course. When drunk driving gets in your blood, you just have to heed the call.